This is ridiculously easy to make, keeps for a week in the fridge, and you don't even need stock. Think about it: stock is just water in which meat, veg and seasonings are simmered. So sausage, celery, garlic and lentils really do transform water into a perfect soup. Chicken or veg stock will intensify the flavor, and leftover bits of ham works well instead of the sausage. This is what I make when I know things are going to get busy and I want to be sure there's something healthy in the fridge to grab for lunch or dinner that counts as a meal all in itself.
Makes: Feeds about 6.
Canola or olive oil, for cooking with
1 mild or hot Italian sausage, or Chorizo
4 celery ribs, chopped, including the leaves
1 19 oz. (540 mL) can lentils, drained
1 L water, chicken or vegetable stock
Salt & pepper
1In a large, heavy saucepan, heat a drizzle of oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, squeezing it out of its casing into the pan. Cook, breaking up the chunks, until it's browned. (You don’t have to worry about cooking it through.) Add the celery and cook for a few minutes, until the edges start to brown. Add the lentils, water or stock, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for half an hour or so, adding extra liquid if it looks like it needs it. If you’d like it thicker, remove the lid and simmer until it’s the consistency you like.