No Tricks, Just Treats

Happy April Fool's Day! No need to look for hidden meaning or tricks here. Instead, I'm offering you a bowl of soup that offers you just a little bit of everything. Potatoes and sausage? Yep. Garlic and onion? Of course. Lentil and spinach? You bet. Flavorful broth? It wouldn't be soup without it. And even some tender zucchini to give you just a tease about the amazing growing season just around the corner:

As is often the case, this is one of my recipes that can be tweaked quite a bit. I love the combination of sausage, lentils, and vegetables in this mix, but if you have cravings for, say, parsnips instead of potatoes, indulge away. Spinach is lovely, but watercress stands in equally well and packs a peppery punch. If you have some roasted (or fresh!) tomatoes you'd like to include, feel free to do so. Consider your soup bowl a bit of a canvas.

When it comes to deciding what to serve with a soup like this, I tend to go simple. Since the soup's pretty busy, something as simple as tender chunks of bread work beautifully. If you need to make it more involved, homemade cornbread or even a cheesy quesadilla can be a nice pairing. Personally? I'm going with the chunks of French bread and a glass of my favorite chilled white wine. No joke about it!

Tuscan Confetti Soup

  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¾ tsp. dried basil
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. paprika (I used smoked paprika because I adore it)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 8 c. chicken broth
  • 2 medium red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 c. dry red lentils
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 3 c. fresh spinach

In a large stock pot over medium heat, add the sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and onion, cook until fragrant. Sprinkle in the oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Pour in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then add the potatoes and lentils and cook for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes, add in the zucchini; continue simmering for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Stir in the spinach and wilt, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes/li>

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