Lentil Soup with Sausage

Original Recipe HERE
This is a handy, basic soup recipe to have on hand - it may not blow anyone's mind, but it was a winner in both the Ease of Preparation and Taste categories.  I always have the ingredients - or something close - ready to go.  The kids liked after adding shredded cheddar and shredded smoked gouda, and I'm sure serving it with a little sour cream would've made them happy, too.
1 cup dry green lentils
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 cups beef broth [I did half beef and half chicken]
1 can (15 oz) petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano [I used oregano]
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 to 1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 pound pre-cooked smoked sausage links, sliced – or chopped ham [I used chicken sausage]
(1) Rinse lentils; drain.  Soak in a bowl of water while other preparations are completed.
(2) In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion; cook several minutes until tender but not brown.
(3) Add garlic; stir.  Saute a few minutes, avoiding browning.
(4) Drain lentils.  Add to pot along with broth, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, thyme or oregano, pepper, and bay leaf.
(5) Bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
(6) Add carrots and celery.  Simmer an additional 15-20 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are tender.
(7) Add sausage; heat through.  Discard bay leaf.
Kid Participation: None.

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