Lentil soup with broccoli rabe
*1 Pound Dried Lentils
*1/2 Pound Italian Sausages Removed From Casings
*2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
*1 Large Carrot, Peeled And Diced
*2 Celery Stalks, Diced
*1 Small Onion, Peeled And Diced
*2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled And Minced
*1 Cup Chopped Tomatoes
*Salt & Black Pepper
*Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
*1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe, Washed, & Chopped
*3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 - Combine the lentils with 2 quarts of water in a large stock pot;
2 - Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender;
3 -In a separate pot, heat the olive oil and cook the carrots, onions, and celery until tender;
4 -Add the garlic and sausage meat and continue to cook until the sausage is lightly browned, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks;
5 -Add the sausage and vegetables to the lentils with the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes if using;
6 - Add the broccoli rabe to the lentil pot with 2 to 3 cups of additional water;
7 - Continue to cook until the broccoli rabe is tender.
8 - Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
9 - Serve with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.