Okay, not a complete rip-off... but the only differences seem to be the use of ham/bacon vs. italian sausage and balsamic vinegar vs. red wine vinegar.
I used spinach for this week's green... (Grown-up spinach not that baby stuff.) which I must say makes a lot more sense to the palate than escarole. Kale works well too btw.
Well, here's TJOC's recipe for Lentil Soup with Greens... Give it a go!
3 tbsp olive oil
4 oz ham or bacon, diced
3 med carrots, peeled and diced
3 med celery ribs, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 c dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 14oz can diced tomatoes (TJOC says to drain, I didn't and I think it makes a richer broth)
1 tsp dried (or 1 tbsp fresh) thyme
8 cups water (I think broth could make the flavor deeper, but water is cheaper!)
1 bunch kale/spinach, chopped roughly
1 1/2 tbsp+ balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Heat oil in large soup pot. Add ham/bacon and saute 3-4 minutes. Add carrots, onions, celery, and garlic; saute until veggies are tender 5-10 mins.
Stir in lentils, tomatoes, thyme and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender 30-45 mins. Add greens to soup for last 5 minutes of cooking. Stir in balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.