Make Ahead

Lentil and Sausage Soup with Kale

March  4, 2013
23 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 6
What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 1 pinch 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jaxmccaff
  • Megan Guntas
    Megan Guntas
  • Rhonda35
  • jklinsm
  • Hannah

56 Reviews

deborah L. December 31, 2022
Delicious! Made last night for the first time using French green lentils (did not soak), spicy Italian sausage out of the casing. Pre-sausage add, felt it was a little watery and need more concentration of flavors and wanted more of a stew-like texture so let it cook longer and added 1/4 c of orzo to help thicken. Ultimately added another cup of chicken broth to the over-thickened stew. Just perfect. Will make again.
Beth6582 October 30, 2022
Great recipe! I didn’t use as many lentils and added fennel and mushrooms, which really gave it a great flavor. Served with crusty bread was a great rainy Sunday night dinner!
Jaxmccaff March 22, 2020
Made this recipe again the other day. Used mung beans instead of lentils and used 1/2 water and 1/2 beef stock. It was so delicious. Such a great recipe for lots of leftovers.
mcewenrw November 10, 2019
Substituted smoked Jalapeño sausage and it turned out excellent. Also added two cups chicken stock in place of two cups water for additional flavor. I will halve the amount lentils next time, 1 1/2 cups ends up being too much for me once they are cooked and soak up liquid.
Jes A. November 27, 2018
I love this recipe, I've been making it for years and it's so tasty.

Does anyone know the caloric breakdown?
Megan G. November 12, 2018
It's starting to get cold so I've been craving some new soup recipes. Just made this last night and it is AMAZING! I used red lentils instead of french green lentils, and I used Andouille-style chicken sausage and was very happy with the result. I know what soup I'll be making on repeat this winter :)
Rhonda35 March 6, 2018
Hi Merrill! Made this soup for the hundredth or so time - always SO good - especially inviting when it's 30 degrees with 45 mph gusts outside! This time, I switched out the lentils and used barley instead - a nice variation. Thanks for sharing your recipe. :-)
Alison January 28, 2018
This is really good and very simple to make on a cold winter afternoon. Since there wasn't a specific weight given for the sausages, I interpreted this ingredient quantity expansively (indulgently?), and used an entire package (actually 8) of chicken breakfast sausage, which was well-received by the consumers of this fine dish. Clearly, any type of sausages would work well, so I think it depends on what flavor profile you want and/or how much meat you want. I also used regular green lentils rather than french green (la puy style), since this is what I had on hand, and was perfectly happy with the result. thanks for this recipe! It will make return appearances in my home.
Alison October 13, 2017
Great base - I used almost twice as much kale, ground turkey that I seasoned lightly, and dried herbs. Delicious and filling with infinite room to adapt.
Marie F. August 30, 2017
Lentils don't have to be soaked, if they were crunchy the soup should have been simmered longer.
Tigi February 2, 2017
I make a soup similar to this, except that I use turkey Italian sausage and equal parts barley, split peas and lentils. One of my favorites.
Tracy D. January 17, 2016
I made this today in my pressure cooker, substituted spinach for the kale. I also topped it with a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan cheese, it was delicious!
Gretchen S. December 28, 2015
Delicious and hearty winter soup without being too rich or fatty. Nice to have a recipe without added stock and plenty of flavor. The lentils took quite a bit longer to cook and I ended up adding quite a bit of extra water.
jklinsm November 25, 2015
This was delicious and received rave reviews from all. Even my picky 4 year olds thought it was good. Definitely adding to the winter rotation.
Hannah November 22, 2015
I used turkey andouille sausage - incredible!
cocos C. June 29, 2015
I would say 1 out of 3-4 recipes I cook comes from Food52. Always a great inspiration to me! I recently realized that I hadn't thanked the creators of my favorite go-to dishes, of which this soup is one. It is a perfect balance of the things I want in cool weather. Thanks!
AntoniaJames November 1, 2014
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)
Teri October 26, 2014
I will never make another lentil soup recipe again, because this is the best one EVER.
Debbi S. August 7, 2014
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!
annalea March 6, 2014
Made this tonight and it was incredibly perfect. So easy too!