This hearty soup is peppered with spicy sausage, ground spices and dried herbs, and fresh basil. The lentils are the perfect vehicle to carry the robust flavors from the red wine and hot sauce, and the tomato sauce ties everything together. This soup is rather spicy, so feel free to omit the hot sauce if you’d like to reduce the heat. The sausage can be substituted with vegan sausage or omitted altogether.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Push the ingredients to the sides of the pot to make a well in the center. Add the chili powder, cumin and paprika in the well and toast until fragrant, 1 minute. Season with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir in the bay leaf.
Stir in the chicken stock, tomato sauce, red wine and lentils. Increase the heat and cook until boiling, then reduce to a hearty simmer. Cover and cook until the lentils are cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from the heat, then stir in the basil, hot sauce and lemon juice. Taste to adjust the seasoning and serve over quinoa if desired.
The sausage can be diced instead of crumbled if desired. The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.