1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 pound bulk turkey or pork Italian sausage, regular or hot
1 cup lentils
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, grated or chopped
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
1 baking potato, peeled and diced
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
3-4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and discarded, leaves shredded
Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat with one turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Once hot, add the sausage and sauté for 3-4 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces with the back of a spoon or a potato masher as it cooks and browns.
While the sausage is browning, pour the lentils out onto a light-colored plate and sift through them. Discard any small stones – sometimes you find them and sometimes you don't, but better safe than sorry. To the browned sausage, add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, potato, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and the tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes. Add the stock and 2 cups of water, turn the heat up to high and bring up to a bubble. Add the lentils and the kale, stir until the kale wilts in, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Serve. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to www.yum-o.org.