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Cajun Lentil Stew

1 teaspoon olive oil
6 ounces spicy smoked beef sausage - (1 link) -- diced (abt 1 1/2 cups)
1 green bell pepper -- cored, seeded,
and diced (abt 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium onion -- diced (abt 1 1/2 cups)
2 celery stalks -- diced (abt 1 cup)
2 green onions -- minced
1 bag brown lentils - (16 oz) -- rinsed
under cold running water
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning blend
10 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes - (14 1/2 oz)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt

In a large kettle, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, green pepper, onion, celery and green onion and cook over medium to medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Vegetables should "sweat" not brown. Adjust heat lower if vegetables start to brown.

Add the lentils, Cajun seasoning blend, water, diced tomatoes garlic powder and thyme leaves. Stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until lentils are soft. Add more water if necessary, if it cooks away. Stir in salt. Serve hot.

This recipe yields 12 servings.

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