Lentil Soup

I needed to make dinner around breakfast time because I was going to be out all day long.  This recipe is easy, good and perfect as the nights get colder.  Also, I could cook it in the morning and let the soup sit (no heat) on the stove all day and just warm it up when I got home.

2 cups lentils ( I used the French lentils), rinsed in a strainer
4 1/2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 lb. Italian sweet sausage cut into pieces
1/2 lb. chorizo cut into pieces
1 Vidallia onion finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs (including the tops) finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups (really packed down) escarole chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Simmer the lentils in a large pot with the water, broth and bay leaves uncovered for about 10 minutes.  Bring to a boil first, then simmer.

In another pot (one that is eventually going to hold all the soup), put in 2 tbsp olive oil.  Once the oil is hot add the sausages.  Once the sausages start to brown, then add in the chorizo.  Keep this going on a medium heat until everything gets crispy.  If you want, you could just do a one lb of chorizo or just one lb of sweet sausage or spicy sausage.  Either would be good.

Reduce the heat and add the onions, carrots, celery and 1 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp fresh grated pepper ( i just tossed this in with out measuring).  Stirring occasionally until the mixture has softened.  About 5 minutes.  Then add the tomato paste and let that cook, still stirring for about 2 more minutes.

Now add the lentils and the liquid into this pot.  Let this continue to simmer with everything combined about another 5 minutes.  Then add the escarole and cook for about 3 minutes.  Stir in the vinegar for taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with bread or croutons.