- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 c. chopped onion (about 1 small)
- 1/2 c. chopped celery (about 1 large stalk)
- 1/2 c. chopped carrot (about 1 small)
- 1/4 c. Chopped parsley
- 2 qt. chicken stock
- 1 lb. brown lentils
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme tied with 2 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried bay leaf)
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 4 sweet Italian sausages, cooked and chopped
- 1/3 c. Madeira wine (optional)
In 6- to 7-quart sauce pot, heat oil on medium. Add onion, celery, carrot, and parsley. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are translucent and beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.
To pot, add stock, lentils, ham hock, garlic, thyme bundle and red pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to maintain simmer; cook 45 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in sausages and Madeira, if using. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Before serving, discard thyme bundle and ham hock. Makes about 12 cups.