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Sausage-Lentil Soup Goes on Spring Break, Comes Back as Salad

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Sausages and lentils love each other. Over the years, our site has adopted quite a few recipes featuring the duo. Most of them are soup—or a close cousin, like stew or gumbo. Think bowl, spoon, blanket, couch:

Lentil and Sausage Soup with Kale

Lentil and Sausage Soup with Kale by Merrill Stubbs

Sausage and Lentil Gumbo

Sausage and Lentil Gumbo by hardlikearmour

Come warmer weather, though, these ingredients part ways. Sausages head to lobster boils and potato buns. Lentils, to picnicky salads and mushroomy tacos. Which feels sort of unfair, right? Sausages can be springy and summery, and lentils can be springy and summery, but put the two together and it has to be wintry?

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Let’s fix this. Reunite sausages and lentils—they hug, they cry!—send them on a free, all-expenses-paid, salads-gone-wild spring break, and see what happens...

That's the driest soup we've ever seen.
That's the driest soup we've ever seen. Photo by Julia Gartland

This! A kale salad to kindly usher you into spring (I write, as it’s April, and snowing). I took all the classic, soupy ingredients and repurposed them:

Sausage: To cut down on active cooking time, I like using a smoked—so, fully cooked—sausage here. Just slice into coins, then pan-fry until crispy. My personal pref is Spanish-style chorizo. But you could swap in any favorite variety, from chicken to beef to veggie.

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Lentils: I really like French lentils here—or Puy lentils or lentilles du Puy. They stay strong during tough times (read: boiling water). With soup or dal, lentils breaking apart is okay, even ideal, contributing thickness and texture. But in a salad, we want them to be clear and distinct. Cook the lentils with a couple smashed garlic cloves for more flavor.

Toro Bravo's Warm Potato Salad with Vinegar and Chorizo

Toro Bravo's Warm Potato Salad with Vinegar and Chorizo by Genius Recipes

Warm Salmon and Lentil Salad with Herbes de Provence

Warm Salmon and Lentil Salad with Herbes de Provence by EmilyC

Carrots and celery: Finely diced onion, carrot, and celery make up a French mirepoix, which becomes the foundation for countless soups. Including many sausage-lentil ones. Here, I omitted the onion and shaved the carrots and celery on a mandoline.

Kale: If this were a soup, I’d be down with curly kale—it often costs less! In a salad, though, I really like Tuscan (or lacinato or dinosaur) kale’s shiny, sturdy, bumpiness. It’s more resistant to wilting, too, which makes this salad perfect picnic material. Make in the morning, eat later in the day, all good.

To bring this all together, a simple dressing: We’ve already got a lot of flavors going on. The dressing needs to hold its own but not draw attention. So I turned to my go-tos: olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard, plus salt and black pepper.

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Kale, Chorizo & Lentil Salad

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Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup French lentils
  • 4 smoked chorizo sausages (340 grams), thickly sliced into coins
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 celery stalks (260 grams)
  • 4 carrots, peeled (160 grams)
  • 4 cups packed, chopped Tuscan kale (140 grams)
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What are your favorite warm-weather recipes with sausages and/or lentils? Let us know in the comments!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Legume, Sausage, Salad