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Sausage and Lentil Soup with Tortellini - 2 Quarts
3/4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound turkey or chicken Italian sausage links
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
3/4 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed and drained
8 ounces yellow onions, peeled and chopped
8 ounces carrots, peeled, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
¾ tablespoon basil
1-1/2 teaspoons thyme
¾ ounce sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), slivered
4-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
6 ounces cheese-filled tortellini (refrigerated)

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 until 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 slivered sun-dried tomatoes and top with the sliced sausages and any accumulated juices. Add the chicken stock.
Cover and press the on/off button to turn the unit on. Set time to 3 hours and press High; once slow cooker switches to Warm, set timer for 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 tender and cooked. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

Servings: Makes 8 cups

Nutritional information per serving

Calories 312 (31% from fat) • carb. 30g • pro. 24g • fat 11g • sat. fat 3g • chol. 51mg • sod. 1015mg • calc. 96mg • fiber 6g 6

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