Lentil Sausage Soup
When we first moved WA state in 2001, we found a now-extinct restaurant that we really enjoyed. It was Italian and they had a signature soup that we never hesitated to order because it was so delicious. They printed the recipe on their take-out menu and I grabbed it right up! I'm so glad I did!
Lentil Sausage Soup is hearty and can be spicy if you use spicy sausage ... which I highly recommend. You can warm up quickly on a cold winter's day with a bowlful of this goodness! However, if you're feeding sensitive palates, you could choose mild sausages, or a bit of both mild AND spicy since it is sliced and added at the end.
I brown the sausages right in the pot that I'm making the soup in because all of that flavor goes right into the soup. Then I set them aside to slice and add at the end.
Onions, leeks, celery, and carrots make up the vegetables and aromatics in this soup. When they are browned in the sausage fat, they are so delicious! Then you add the lentils and chicken stock and let the lentils cook for about an hour.
Just before adding the sliced sausages back in, pour in the cream, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and some spinach.
Be sure to serve it with plenty of crusty bread to soak up all of the soup possible! Buon Appetito!
Lentil Sausage Soup
- 1½ cups lentils rinsed thoroughly and soaked 6-8 hours
- 4 links Italian Sausage mild or spicy depending on your tastes
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ½ cup white onions chopped
- ½ cup carrots chopped
- ½ cup leeks (white parts only chopped
- ½ cup celery chopped
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 cup heavy cream (or use a non-dairy option)
- 1 cup fresh spinach roughly chopped
- Parmesan cheese finely grated
- Put the olive oil and butter in a large pot. Heat to melt the butter, then add the sausage links and brown evenly on all sides. Reduce the heat to keep the butter from burning. Cook the sausage for approximately five minutes or until evenly browned. They won't be cooked through yet so put them in an oven-proof pan in a 350°F oven till they are done, 15-20 minutes.
- After removing the sausage from the skillet, add the onions, carrots, celery, leeks, and seasonings to the pot. Cook over medium-heat until the vegetables are tender, about 2 minutes. Then add the lentils and chicken stock, stir briefly and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking the pan. When the soup starts to boil,reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 40-50 minutes. While the soup is simmering, slice the sausages into half-inch slices.
- When the lentils are tender, add the sausage, cream, mustard, vinegar, and ½ cup of the spinach. Stir to mix all ingredients. Return the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for an additional five minutes.
- Serve in warm bowls, garnished with the remaining spinach and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy with rustic bread.