Lentil and Sausage Soup with Kale

By • March 4, 2013 • 38 Comments

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Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for browning the sausages
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat (or add another tablespoon of olive oil)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups french green lentils, rinsed
  • 28 ounces canned chopped tomatoes (I use tetra-pack)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 chicken sausages (or substitute another kind of sausage)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped kale
  1. Heat the olive oil and bacon fat over medium heat in a large, heavy pot and add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Add a big pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the lentils, tomatoes and 4 cups water. Add the thyme and rosemary and a couple more pinches of salt. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables.
  3. Meanwhile brown the sausages in about a teaspoon of olive oil in a small pan and then slice them into quarter moons.
  4. When the lentils are just tender, taste the soup and add more salt if necessary. Add the kale and cook for about 3 minutes, until the kale is tender but still green. Stir in the sausage, make sure everything is heated through, and serve.

Tags: kale, lentils, pantry meal, sausage, soup, weeknight cooking

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Comments (38) Questions (1)

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6 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Excellent soup, and so easy! I used regular flat green lentils, because we eat the French ones so often in another lentil-sausage-greens soup. Also, I added parsley right before serving and splashed on red wine vinegar, to brighten it up a bit. We needed a lot more water, as the lentils drank the broth right up. ;o)

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6 months ago Teri

I will never make another lentil soup recipe again, because this is the best one EVER.

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9 months ago Debbi Spencer

There are several varieties of chicken sausage (Italian, Polish, apple and gouda, garlic and spinach, etc.). Which did you use? Getting the ingredients tomorrow. Thanks!

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about 1 year ago annalea

Made this tonight and it was incredibly perfect. So easy too!

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about 1 year ago Liz Andrew

Liz is Food52's Photo Assistant.

this was the perfect its-still-winter-and-i-have-a-cold dinner for me tonight. i'll be anxiously awaiting leftovers ;)

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about 1 year ago Shari Kerr

Great soup! I used less liquid and substituted collards for the kale. The sausage was a chicken and turkey andouille. Delicious.

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about 1 year ago Fifer

Planning to make the soup this week - looks delicious, and hoping my son will partake. However, I wanted to check that I should use French green (puy) lentils, and not regular green lentils. The photo looks very much like the latter. Thanks!

Cbfb27ea-071f-4941-9183-30dce4007b50.merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You can use either.

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about 1 year ago Michelle

Delicious!

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over 1 year ago Medooka

Delicious soup. I made it without the sausage and replaced kale with spinach. Still delicious, though I loved kale better when I made it the first time.

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over 1 year ago Harriette Carrington

This was really delicious, but I had some trouble. I followed the recipe to the T but the lentils were a little crunch and overwhelmed the texture. But it was really tasty and it makes a lot so next I will add more kale and less lentils.

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over 1 year ago Davide Amato

You should either use canned/tetrapak lentils or soak the lentils in salted water for four hours before cooking.

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over 1 year ago Davide Amato

No, hell, it's water with sodium bicarbonate, not salted water!

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over 1 year ago Harriette Carrington

Ah, and now I know what tetrapak means. Great!

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over 1 year ago Chaz Brenchley

Is it unreasonable to point out that that photo clearly has yellow split peas in it, and not French green lentils at all...?

Cbfb27ea-071f-4941-9183-30dce4007b50.merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

It's not unreasonable, but it's also not true! These are green lentils -- I made the soup myself, so I know!

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over 1 year ago Karen

This sounds wonderful! I'm going to make it this week and I'll puree some of the lentils!

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over 1 year ago Doug Doescher

That should be I puree some of the lentils not the meat!

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over 1 year ago Doug Doescher

I've been making just about this same soup for years. Before I add the meat, I take some out and puree it in the blender and add it back for a thicker soup.

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over 1 year ago Yessica

Well.....wow wee! This soup was a hit with the family. My hubby had 2 gigantic bowls and I had to exercise much restraint so I could pack some for lunch. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Oh and we are pretty much sold on kale :o)

Cbfb27ea-071f-4941-9183-30dce4007b50.merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad to hear it!

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over 1 year ago Yessica

ok, since we are going through a wild and crazy winter here in NJ I am going to try this tonight. It will be a first for me to cook with kale. I have been wanting to try it. Does it need to be cleaned out like greens? or can I just wash and toss in the pot?

Cbfb27ea-071f-4941-9183-30dce4007b50.merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Welcome to the wonderful world of kale! I recommend soaking the leaves in a big bowl of cold water and swishing them around a bit -- then give them a good second rinse in a colander or salad spinner, dry them a bit, and you should be good to chop and toss!

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over 1 year ago The Fiery Epicurean

Made this today, added a mixture of water and chicken stock (needed to use it) and it's very flavorful. Going to let it stew on the stove for a few hours before we enjoy it. Thank you for an easy Sunday dinner!

Cbfb27ea-071f-4941-9183-30dce4007b50.merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're so welcome!

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over 1 year ago cschaefer

Made this for my daughter around 8 months of age and she absolutely loved it! (I think I may have quite the foodie on my hands). A few healthy-sized bowfuls aside, I pureed the rest and froze 21 single servings. She never grew tired of me thawing and reheating this soup for her meal after meal. Thank you for posting this under your "Cooking for Clara" column, Merrill. I would have never tried it had you not suggested it!

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almost 2 years ago MrsK

Boy, oh, boy, another recipe that makes me want to long for winter... And I hate winter! :-)

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almost 2 years ago adele93

would roast chicken, shredded work as a substitute for sausage? trying to avoid that much fat

Cbfb27ea-071f-4941-9183-30dce4007b50.merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sure! Also, most chicken sausage is pretty low in fat.