Sausage and Lentil Gumbo

By hardlikearmour
December 27, 2010
16 Comments


Author Notes: I love the richness of gumbo, a roux-based soup. It is hearty and comforting cold weather fare. Gumbo commonly uses okra or filé powder as a thickener -- I decided to use some red lentils instead, and I was quite pleased with the result. I had an orange bell pepper on hand so used it in the "trinity." I added lacinato kale to add some contrast in color and texture. I prefer to make my roux in the oven (so easy), but feel free to do it on the stove-top if you'd like.

It makes a great hearty meal for a casual get-together, and it tastes even better if made the day before. You only need to rewarm the leftovers and make some rice (and a pan of cornbread with whipped honey butter, if you're so inclined). This soup is like love in a bowl, so it should definitely be shared!
hardlikearmour

Food52 Review: This dish was yummy! The bacon flavor is nice and strong -- and there is nothing better than bacon paired with lentils. The addition of sausage and kale really rounds out the dish.audrey kasindorf

Serves: 6 to 8
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 3 hrs

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces diced bacon (or pancetta)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 bell pepper (color of your choice)
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds Andouille sausage (or other smoked sausage)
  • 1 cup red or yellow lentils (split and skinned-style lentils)
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons creole seasoning, plus more to taste
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Sauté the bacon in a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or another oven-safe skillet) until browned and crisped, then strain it through mesh strainer to collect the fat. Place the bacon in the fridge -- it will be added to the gumbo later. Wipe down the skillet well. Strain the collected fat into a liquid measuring cup, using a very fine strainer or some cheesecloth. Add vegetable oil to the pancetta fat to get 1/3 cup total.
  2. Place the fat and flour into the cast iron skillet and mix together. Bake in the oven for about 90 minutes, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes, until you have a dark roux. It should look similar to melted chocolate.
  3. While the roux is cooking, do your prep: Dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery, then combine them in a bowl. Mince or press the garlic. Slice your sausage on the bias. Pick over and rinse the lentils well. Wash, derib, and coarsely chop your kale.
  4. Once your roux is done, place the skillet on a burner, and add your onions, bell pepper, and celery. Heat the skillet over medium to medium-high heat, stirring continuously, until the veggies are softened. Stir in your garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Transfer your roux and vegetables to a 4 to 6 quart stock pot. Use 1 to 2 cups of your stock to deglaze the skillet and mix it together with the vegetables in the stock pot. Add the rest of your stock, the bay leaf, thyme, allspice, and creole seasoning to the stock pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Brown your sausage in the now empty skillet. Add the sausage to the stock pot. Simmer for 30 minutes, then add your lentils. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until your lentils are soft and start to fall apart. Add the kale -- you will need to stir this a bit to get all of the kale wilted. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the bacon. Taste for seasoning, then add creole seasoning, salt, and pepper as needed.
  6. Serve over long-grain white rice with Louisiana hot sauce as a condiment.

More Great Recipes:
Stew|Soup|Cajun/Creole|Bean|Serves a Crowd|Winter|Entree

Reviews (16) Questions (1)

16 Comments

Trena H. February 13, 2018
I tried this recipe for the first time tonight and it is delicious! I cannot believe how amazing the flavors are. I'm always on the lookout for different recipes and this one is a keeper. Thank you so much for sharing such an incredible dish!
 
eatlikeachef October 24, 2014
I highly recommend making your own creole seasoning since there is a ton of salt in the prepackaged ones. I like Emeril's <http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/emerils-essence-creole-seasoning-recipe2.html>, and I make it without the salt. That way I can add it at whatever point in the recipe I want to, and just add the salt separately. I made this recipe today, it's delicious!
 
Lynn October 12, 2014
This looks amazing. But: can you recommend a creole seasoning recipe? It's pretty unknown in the Netherlands...
 
Transcendancing October 12, 2014
I am also eager to try it and would love a Creole seasoning recipe...
 
Transcendancing October 12, 2014
I just found this with 2 recipes, for Creole seasoning, both of which look very good: http://www.gumbopages.com/food/creole.html
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour October 13, 2014
The Gumbopages are a great resource for cajun and creole recipes. The first gumbo I ever made was the leftover turkey one from that site.
 
Transcendancing October 13, 2014
I'm definitely going to have to look at some of the recipes on the site!
 
Emilio A. October 12, 2014
Just want to try this recipe
 
Hilarybee December 3, 2011
I'm making this for dinner tomorrow! I'm super excited about it! It looks amazing. Can't wait to report back.
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour December 3, 2011
yay! I can't wait to hear your thoughts. I'm a huge fan of gumbo in the winter; it is great comfort food.
 
aargersi December 28, 2010
LOVE this - love gumbo, I have never made oven roux so I will try it for sure. And thickening with lentils is a stroke of genius!!!
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour December 28, 2010
Thanks, aargersi. Oven roux is awesome - you don't have to stir continuously & and can get it nice and dark w/o much risk of burning it. It takes a long time, but it's mostly inactive.
 
dymnyno December 27, 2010
Looks gorgeous and sounds like the perfect dish for a cold day...which I will be experiencing in two days!
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour December 27, 2010
Thanks, dymnyno! I had a heaping bowl today, and it's definitely a belly warmer. I bet you have some great mulled wine recipes for cold days!
 
dymnyno December 27, 2010
Actually, no mulled wine...I like it straight from the bottle to my glass! I lived in Portland for 8 long cold winters so I appreciate your recipe. Isn't it time for an ice storm?
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour December 27, 2010
Yep. We're supposed to have a snow/rain mix later this week. Brrr.