The calendar may say that spring has sprung, but it still feels like soup weather around here. And since I LOVE soup, I will cook it for as long as there is even the tiniest chill in the air!
Most home cooks already have a lentil soup recipe in their back pocket. This one is a simple, tried and true, family favorite and I wanted to make sure I got it up on the blog. It has a rich, tomatoey broth and a subtle smokey flavor from the sausage. The addition of potatoes makes for an even heartier soup. Use gold potatoes if you can find them…they hold up better in soups than russets do and have such a great buttery flavor. You can use pork, beef, or turkey smoked sausage. I use whatever clean, nitrate free brand that I can find.
I love the organic smoked sausage from Pederson’s. I have found it at my local Whole Foods as well as Sprouts. Costco often carries some good organic smoked sausage as well.
Of course you are going to want to serve this with some crusty bread. If I am going to be perfectly honest with you, the reason I love soup so much is because it means there will be crusty bread. I have a problem with it and I am not ashamed to admit it. The rest of my family is like, “Oh, sure, I will have a slice of bread with my dinner”. And then there’s me…devouring half the loaf. Sorry Not Sorry.
This recipe makes a BIG pot of soup! The four of us ate it for dinner and then we had lunch for all of us the next day. If the soup gets too thick the next day, add some more chicken stock or water to thin it out a bit.
Lentil and Smoked Sausage Soup
Makes 8 hearty servings
- 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 package smoked sausage (about 14 ounces) pork, beef, or turkey, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup dry white wine (like chardonnay)
- 1 lb dried green lentils
- 2 qts chicken stock
- 1 – 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup water
- 4 medium gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 tsp salt
- plenty of fresh ground pepper
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- fresh grated parmesan cheese to garnish
In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Use 1 tbsp if using pork or beef smoked sausage as they will render more fat. Use 2 tbsp if using turkey sausage. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and brown for about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside, reserving the oil.
Add your onions to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for a few more minutes. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan that might be left from browning your sausage. Add the lentils, stock, tomatoes, thyme bundle, and bay leaf and return your browned sausage to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover keeping the soup at a bare simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and check to make sure you are keeping the soup at a simmer.
After 45 minutes, add your cubed potatoes, 2 tsp salt and plenty of pepper. Cover and simmer for about 15 more minutes or until the potatoes and lentils are tender.
Taste your soup for seasoning, I added more salt at this point but if your stock or sausage is especially salty, you may not need to. Add your fresh parsley, reserving some to garnish. Serve garnished with fresh grated parmesan cheese, a drizzle of good olive oil, and fresh parsley.