Vegan Hearty Spanish-Style Lentil and Sausage Soup
Source: Cook's Illustrated, Better Vegan  Category: Vegan Soups and Stews
Prep Time: 15 min  Cook time: 1 hrs 25 min  Total Time: 1 hrs 40 min  Serves 6-8
Gluten Free / Refined Sugar Free
Contains nightshades
About this recipe
This is yet another variation of the lentil soup that really takes this dish to another level. Heady smoked paprika combined with garlic and tart sherry vinegar create an amazing flavor that Spanish foods are so famous for. Lentils and plant-based sausage provide texture and substance, making this soup rich, filling and deeply satisfying. You can omit the sausage if you are not a fan of it, but I would recommend using it if you are transitioning to a plant-based diet and miss meat; you won't be disappointed. 
Ingredients:

1 pound (2 1/4 cups) lentils, picked over, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed (I use Non-GMO Project Verified Pardina Lentils (Small Brown Lentils) )

3 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt (I use Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt, 5 lbs Fine Grain)

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Large onion

5 Tbsp. Avocado oil (I use La Tourangelle Avocado Oil )

2 Beyond Meat Brat Original Plant-based sausages (from the package of 4, reserve the other two for another use), pricked with fork several times (optional)

3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

7 cups water, plus extra as needed

3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar, plus extra for seasoning (try Columela Sherry Vinegar (Solera 3) Reserva)

2 bay leaves

⅛ tsp. ground cloves

2 Tbsp. sweet smoked paprika (try Badia Smoked Paprika 16 oz)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. gluten-free flour

Instructions:
1. Prepare the ingredients.

 

2. Finely chop three-quarters of onion (you should have about 1 cup) and grate remaining quarter (you should have about 3 tablespoons). Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add sausages, if using, and cook until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer sausages to large plate. If not using the sausage, skip to the next step.

 

3. Reduce heat to low and add chopped onion, carrots, 1 tablespoon parsley, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft but not brown, 25 to 30 minutes. If vegetables begin to brown, add 1 tablespoon water to pot.

4. Add lentils and sherry vinegar to vegetables; increase heat to medium-high; and cook, stirring frequently, until vinegar starts to evaporate, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 7 cups water, sausage, if using, bay leaves, and cloves; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover; and cook until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

5. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add paprika, grated onion, garlic, and ½ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute longer. Remove sausage, if using, and bay leaves from lentils. Stir paprika mixture into lentils and continue to cook until flavors have blended and soup has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. When sausage is cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half into ¼-inch-thick slices. Return sausage to soup along with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and heat through, about 1 minute. Season with salt, pepper, and up to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar to taste, and serve. (Soup can be made up to 3 days in advance.)

Notes:
I prefer brown lentils for this recipe, but it will work with any type of lentils except red or yellow.
Equipment needed:
Serving suggestion:
Best served on its own.
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