A hearty lentil soup with Italian sausage, Swiss chard, and garlic. Adapted from Secrets of the Best Chefs by Adam Roberts.
In a large pot, like a dutch oven, over medium heat, brown the Italian sausage in a swirl of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and continue to cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes followed by the lentils. Pour in the tomatoes, chicken broth, water, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, stirring often. When the lentils are tender, stir in the red Swiss chard and cook 3-4 minutes more until the chard is just tender.
While the chard is cooking, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is softened and the oil is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. You don't want the garlic to brown. Remove the soup from the heat, drizzle the olive oil and garlic over top of the soup, and stir it in to combine. Serve with freshly grated parmesan or Romano cheese.