Lentil Soup with Spicy Italian Sausage

Cooking for a Crowd, Cooking for One or Two, Recipes, Weekend Cooking, Worknight Dinners


I am, very easily, one of the world’s lightest sleepers.

Somehow, I’ve honed the ability to sleep more soundly as I get older, but I only attribute that to the fact that I get less sleep and therefore, I crash harder when I eventually do drag myself to bed.

Very early Wednesday morning, there was a small earthquake in the Western suburbs of Chicago.

I slept straight through it, which was fine by me, because if I had been awake I might not have noticed it anyway and wouldn’t that be embarrassing?

Between the earthquake – however mild – and the foot of snow that was concurrently being dumped on Chicagoland, this week was a little surreal.

The kind of week where at the end of the day, you don’t feel like grocery shopping, you don’t feel like going to the gym and you don’t feel like spending two hours cooking dinner.

Lentils are legumes and like other dried beans, are a great source of cholesterol-lowering fiber.

They also help manage blood-sugar disorders, since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.

As an added bonus: lentils have about 200 calories per cup and very little fat.

Lentils are also easy on the wallet: a $2 bag of them is enough for countless lunches and dinners and they freeze beautifully. This recipe from Epicurious is still holding court in my freezer.

Lentil Soup with Spicy Italian Sausage
Recipe type: Cooking for a Crowd, Weekend Cooking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound fully cooked hot Italian sausage, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, chopped (about 1¾ cups)
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled, chopped (about 1¾ cups)
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped about 1 cup
  • 2½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 pound brown lentils (about 2⅓ cups)
  • 3 quarts (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 5-ounce package baby spinach leaves
  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl. Add onion, carrots, parsnips, celery, and Italian seasoning blend to drippings in pot; cook until onion is translucent and vegetables begin to soften, stirring often, 7 to 8 minutes. Add lentils; stir to coat.
  2. Add 3 quarts broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by ¼ cupfuls if soup is too thick, 20 minutes.
  3. Add sausage to soup and simmer until vegetables are tender and flavors blend, 10 to 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.

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  • Reply
    Easy Entertaining: Red Lentil Hummus
    June 1, 2011 at 12:49 am

    […] I use lentils especially often, although they are certainly in the winter rotation for things like lentil soup with spicy Italian sausage or lentil soup with chunky potatoes and ham. Beyond that, lentils are a once-in-awhile thing and […]

  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    This looks like a very interesting lentil soup recipe, I never tried it with sausage, looks great.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Looks like a very tasty soup,I’ll be sure to try it out.
    Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Reply
    Heidi Renée
    February 12, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    I haven’t had lentils in forever. I don’t know why, because I love them!

  • Reply
    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
    February 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    If you have a slow cooker, you can make an easy version of this soup. The lentils completely break down from the slow cooking, with no pureeing required.

  • Reply
    Meal Makeover Mom Janice
    February 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Yum, this sounds perfect for a cold winter day, even if the ‘big’ storm totally missed us! I am also a very light sleeper. I travel with ear plugs (and Ambien truth be told!) because it’s even worse on the road. Enjoy the snow!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2010 at 10:16 am

    My kind of soup! I absolutely love lentils.
    I’m cursed with being a very light sleeper too. It has to be completely dark and quiet or there’s no way I’m going to fall asleep.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I was looking for a recipe involving sausage, something that I havent made before and with the cold and snow, this recipe sounds fantastic. It looks incredibly delicious.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Lentils with sausage is such a good thing! Ok the whole earthquake in Chicago thing, not good. I moved away from San Francisco saying I was getting away from earthquakes

  • Reply
    February 11, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Oh boy! I can eat sausage anywhere anytime and it certainly looks delicious in that soup. I know what you mean about this week. My car is completely under snow and my train line was cancelled. I guess no work again today for me!

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