Lentil Sausage Soup

Total Time:
2 hr
15 min
15 min
1 hr 30 min

4 quarts; 8 to 10 servings

  • 1 pound French green lentils (recommended: du Puy)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
  • 3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
  • 3 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock, recipe follows, or canned broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
  • Homemade Chicken Stock:
  • 3 (5-pound) chickens
  • 3 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
  • 4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in 1/2, optional
  • 20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Homemade Chicken Stock:

Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt, and peppercorns in a 16 to 20-quart stockpot with 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Skim the surface as needed. Simmer uncovered for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander, discarding the chicken and vegetables, and chill. Discard the hardened fat, and then pack the broth in quart containers.

Yield: 6 quarts

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Jammy, earthy red wine

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    293 Reviews
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    Ina elevates a lentil soup to new heights.
    Best lentil soup I've ever made.
    I made this soup tonight substituting browned sweet Italian sausage for the kielbasa. OMG! It's fabulous. Wonderful recipe.
    Thank you, Ina! This recipe converted my husband who thought he was a lentil hater to someone who now asks me to make this soup again and again. Perfect January comfort food and, as other reviewers have noted, so adaptable to the veggies and other ingredients you have around.
    It was ok, but not a soup I would make again.
    I personally can't stand soups but this one was very impressive. I didn't have sausage so I substituted 2 red bell peppers of which seared them in the oven with olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper and then pureed. Then I added it once soup was nearly finished. Wow, what an amazing flavor that was not only well balanced but left you wanting more.
    One of my husband's favorites! Lot's of flavor and it fills you up! This recipe makes a lot of soup, so I usually freeze half for later.
    Just made this for the first time and it is a keeper! Omitted the celery as we're not big celery fans, added a dash of red pepper flakes and Herbes de Provence and used crumbled turkey sausage. Divine! Ina does it again!
    This soup is absolutely delicious. We used Trader Joes lentils and a high quality kielbasa. Will make this again! Very hearty. Can't go wrong with an Ina recipe.
    One of the best fall/winter soup recipes and a family favorite. Perfect as is, but can easily adapt to what you have on hand - I often add bell peppers and a healthy amount of kale and always use turkey kielbasa. This makes a HUGE pot and, thankfully for our small family, freezes very well. Hearty, nutritious and so tasty!
    It was very tasty. Next time I will wait to add the salt until after I cook the sausage. It came out a tad too salty and I only added 1/4 tsp, I think it was the chicken stock I used.
    Loved it - nice chunky, thick and filling soup - perfect winter lunch for work. I used Polish dry cured kielbasa (pork/veal) - yummy! Parmesan shavings for garnish make it luxurious :) Ps the only change - I added less salt as kielbasa provides quite a bit of salty flavour to the soup.
    Made this recipe and loved it. I used turkey Kielbasa.This makes a lot of soup and it freezes well. The fall season is upon us and we just had it for lunch. Delicious!!
    I used vegetable stock and cheese rinds to add flavor and removed the meat. This made a really great vegetarian soup. Often when I remove meat and meat stock the soup loses something. This soup was very rich and flavorful even without any meat. So good.
    I just love this recipe and make it all the time. My family loves, loves, loves it. Its so hardy, along with a salad, its all you need. The only thing I would change is the amount of salt Ina uses. I wouldn't put in anymore then a tsp. Kielbasa is salty also
    I begin by hailing Ina. She is the BEST. Her recipes never fail and are my family's absolute favorites. My adjustments to this recipe: at the point of adding turkey kielbasa I added approx a tsp of Edmond Fallot dijon mustard, which added spicy/salty depth. And a dash of red pepper chile flakes with the stock. Huge yield for our tiny household, but freezing half will allow for a fabulous easy breezy dinner in a few months. Bonus side: green salad vinaigrette (from Barefoot in Paris which is my favorite salad dressing off all time. Bon Appetit!
    Very good! It took longer than 15 minutes to clean and chop everything, but it wasn't difficult to do. Also, unless you're feeding an army, I'd suggest cutting the ingredients to half of the stated amounts.
    Like always Ina delivered!!! Very tasty!!! Even my husband who is not a lentil fan LOVED this soup!
    Two changes..I threw in a bag of organic Kale and put the lid on the last 20 min or so of cooking. Delicious and even healthier. Secondly, I took time to brown (carmelize each kielbasa piece in the oil. It really amps up the flavor of the end dish!
    Very flavorful. i will make it again.
    Absolutely fabulous, just like all things INA! Simple recipe, delicious. I have found that it is important to use Extra Virgin olive oil and the French green lentils for the best flavor. I sometimes add a little cubed sweet honey ham. Yum!
    I used cheap kielbasa and I regret it. The dish was still pretty good, just not blown away. My husband thought it could have used a little something spicy and I thought it could have used a slightly sweet element. Kind of a one note taste, in my opinion.
    I made this soup the day before I wanted it for dinner. It was very good when I made it, but even better the 2nd day! I followed the recipe exactly, except for the salt. I never just dump in the amount listed, I salt as I go along, so my recipes won't be ruined. So, it was more like 2t. of salt. I used generic lentils from the grocery store & store bought chicken stock. I used an excellent quality smoked Polish type kielbasa from a sausage maker (if you live in Maine, I recommend the Sausage Kitchen in Lisbon Falla instead of the over smoked Hillshire Farm or Smithfield brands. Using them would over power the other flavors in the soup. The end result was delicious. My husband who I don't think ever ate a lentil tried it & loved it! I made the full recipe & we will have dinner 2 nights & some to freeze.
    This is just what we needed after a long day of shoveling. Definitely amazing with some add ons. Didn't have kielbasa, cooked hot Italian sausage first, added potatoes, 2 cans of tomato juice ( didn't have tomato paste and roasted cherry tomatoes ( kosher salt, pepper, and evoo at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Followed everything else in the recipe minus the leeks. Splash of lemon instead of red wine vinegar. Crusty bread is a must. Will be making this over and over again.
    Making this tomorrow. Adding spinach and tomatoes. Got leeks washed, sliced and ready to go in the freezer. Can't wait. Thanks for validating my modifications!
    Delicious soup, my husband loved it too! We loved that the veggies were still firm, not mush! I got the green lentils from Fresh Market and used boars head kielbasa. This soup seemed to taste better and better with each bite.
    Love this soup! Have been making it for years now. Today however, I had a pound of turkey meat in the freezer left over from Thanksgiving last week and used it instead of the sausage. Delicious! Chicken would work also......yummy winter soup :
    Excellent and kid approved
    Excellent. Our leeks are very big and 2 was perfect (I use 2/3 of the leek discarding the top 1/3 of the dark end and make sure you rinse them thoroughly after chopping to get rid of the dirt. I used boxed broth and added 1 tsp. dry thyme in lieu of fresh, 1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes, 1 tsp. Herbs de Provence, a bay leaf and doubled the red wine. You could use any kind of sausage if you didn't have kielbasa. At the very end, I added 3 cups of finely chopped kale and a handful of finely chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian parsley. Yummy.
    I may have found the perfect recipe for a cold snowy night. Substituted Sweet Italian Chicken Sauasage for the Kielbasa. Par boiled the sausage and used that stock to soak the lentils. Other than that, I stuck to the recipe and this turned out delightful. Combined it with warm Baguette and butter and a nice earthy red wine and it was just what the doctor ordered on a cold stormy night. Lots of leftovers to freeze for another time is an added bonus.
     I will definitely be making this again!!
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