This healthy and nutritious stew is also hearty, satisfying, and delicious.
For a vegan version, be sure to use a veggie sausage that does not contain eggs or dairy ingredients.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 frozen vegetarian Italian-style sausage links, cut into bite-size slices or chunks
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 or 3 medium-size red potatoes (12 to 16 ounces), unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 (14-15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (preferably petite cut), undrained
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian herb mixture
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus additional for garnish as desired
Cut the sausage into bite-size slices or chunks. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage slices and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 or 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for 2 or 3 minutes, until soft. Do not let the garlic get brown.
Add the diced potatoes to the skillet, along with the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, lentils, Italian herb mixture, salt, and pepper. Raise heat to high, and bring the mixture almost to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and potatoes are tender.
Uncover, and stir in 1 tablespoon of the chopped fresh parsley along with the reserved sausage.
Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 5-10 minutes, or until the sausage is reheated and the stew is thickened to the desired consistency. Add more water if the mixture is too thick.
Sprinkle with additional parsley, as desired, and serve.
-- 4-6 servings