My mom has been making a variation of this lentil soup for as long as I can remember. If you haven’t noticed, I prefer creamy soups. I just enjoy them more than brothy soups and they can still be healthy with just a few adjustments (like cutting just a little bit of cream with milk and mostly broth.) But there is something about this hearty lentil soup that makes it “eat creamy” to me. I think it’s the creaminess added by the lentils, maybe? Whatever it is, this is a soup I made a few times during the winter. It’s healthy, hearty, and can easily be adapted to be vegetarian or vegan.
I average making a pot of soup each week, so it’s nice to have something a little different in the rotation. (You can find more of our favorite soup recipes HERE.)
I’ve wanted to share this lentil soup recipe for a while, but it’s hard to make a bowl of lentil soup look like more than a bowl of mud! (I sometimes like to make it without the sausage and puree it, which makes it even look more like mud.) Anyway, it’s just not one of those beautiful foods to style and photograph, but it is very yummy and perfect for a snow day.
As with many soups, this lentil soup starts by cooking the aromatics (onion, garlic, carrots, and celery) in some oil. I actually mix oil and butter just for a little added flavor. Butter is always a good idea.
This is really the most active part of cooking this lentil soup, which also makes it a good weeknight option. Once the veggies are soft, add in the stock, a bay leaf, and rinsed lentils.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer the soup for about an hour or until the lentils are soft.
Cut up a kielbasa sausage, if you want to add it. I could do without the sausage, but Jeff really likes it and it does add a rich flavor and heartiness.
My mom always cut the sausage in slices and I’ve always been picky about meat, so I would pick out the sausage, peel it, cut it into smaller bites, and add it back to the soup. Now that I’m the one cooking the lentil soup, I’ll peel the sausage ahead and chop it. (The removal of the skin is a texture thing for me.)
Once the lentils are soft, stir in the sausage, wine, fresh chopped parsley, and salt & pepper to taste. Allow it to cook for another 10-15 minutes so the sausage cooks through. Again, you can use vegetable stock and omit the sausage to make this recipe vegetarian/vegan.
This lentil soup is so simple yet so flavorful and satisfying, especially on a cold evening.
hearty lentil soup with sausage | printable recipe
Lentil Soup with Sausage
- 1 lb package of dried lentils
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T butter
- 1 cup chopped or shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 onion chopped (I use a sweet onion)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 32 ounce boxes of chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 kielbasa sausage (optional)
- 1/4 cup white or sherry wine
- salt & pepper to taste
- chopped fresh parsley
- Rinse lentils and set them aside.
- To a large dutch oven, add olive oil, butter, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook over medium/high heat until vegetables are soft.
- Add stock, lentils, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for an hour or until lentils are tender.
- Cut sausage (if desired) and stir into soup. Add in wine, chopped parsley, and salt & pepper to taste. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes uncovered to allow sausage to cook and flavor the soup.
You can find more of our family’s favorite recipes HERE.