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Italian Lentil Soup

You can eat this plain or over rice, with mashed potatoes, serve with fresh bread or wheat muffins, or however you like to eat soup. Everyone in the family ate it, and ate the leftovers the next day, and that is rarely the case around here for soups. I adapted and altered the recipe from a much larger recipe.
Italian Lentil Soup

1 lb. bulk spicy Italian sausage 1 Tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, diced 1 carrot, peeled and diced 1 stalk celery, diced 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1-1/2 cups lentils, rinsed (red or green or mixture)
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or substitute plain) 3–4 cups chicken broth, plus additional broth or water as necessary 1/4 cup Kalamata or green olives, diced
2 teaspoons dried basil Handful of baby spinach leaves, if desired Freshly ground pepper
Heat a large pot. Add olive oil to the pot, then add the sausage and break it into small pieces as it cooks. When it’s mostly cooked, add the onion and celery. When the onion is soft, add the carrot an…

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