1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds turkey or chicken Italian sausage links
12 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1½ cups dried brown lentils, rinsed and drained
12 ounces yellow onions, peeled and chopped
12 ounces carrots, peeled, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon basil
2 teaspoons thyme
1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), slivered
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
9 ounces cheese filled tortellini
Nutritional information per serving (1 cup, without cheese): Calories 312 (31% from fat) • carb. 30g • pro. 24g • fat 11g • sat. fat 3g
• chol. 51mg • sod. 1015mg • calc. 96mg • fiber 6g
Heat the olive oil in a Cuisinart® 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the sausage in a single layer and brown evenly on all sides, about
10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Add the mushrooms to the same pan and cook to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. When the sausage is cool enough to handle, cut into ½-inch slices.
Place the lentils in the ceramic pot of the Cuisinart® Slow Cooker. Add the chopped onions, carrots, garlic, browned mushrooms, basil, and thyme; stir to combine. Sprinkle the mixture with the sun-dried tomatoes and top with the sausage and any accumulated juices. Add the chicken stock.
Cover and press the on/off button to turn the unit on. Set time to 2 hours and press High. Once time elapses, reset time to 5 hours and press Simmer; slow cooker will automatically switch to Warm when cooking time has elapsed.
Forty-five minutes before serving, reset the temperature to High – if soup is very thick, add up to 2 cups water. After 15 minutes, add the tortellini. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes, until the tortellini are cooked and tender.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.