Sausage Lentil Soup

My photography doesn’t always do my recipes justice. I spend a lot more time worrying about taste than looks. And now that it gets dark in the late afternoon it’s almost impossible to get a good shot of anything I cook for dinner. So I’m either in a rush or shooting leftovers that never look as attractive after their time in the fridge. But I refuse to let a less-than-perfect photo deter me from posting an awesome recipe. This one must be shared. This soup is just what you need to get through these next few months. It’s hearty and warm and will feed a lot of mouths. Serve with fresh Parmesan and crusty bread for soaking up the rich broth.

Sausage Lentil Soup


1 lb. green lentils
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground Italian sausage
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 small zucchini or yellow squash, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (more to taste)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
28 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes (I used fire-roasted crushed tomatoes)
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


1. In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and let sit 15 minutes. Drain.

2. Heat oil in a very large pot over medium-high heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook until browned and no longer pink.

3. Add the onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper, and dried herbs. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

4. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the lentils are cooked through and tender, stirring occasionally. If needed, add water partway through cooking to thin the soup. (I added about 1 cup.)

6. Stir in the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

Serves 8+.

(Adapted from via My Baking Addiction)

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17 Responses to Sausage Lentil Soup

  1. Debra November 22, 2012 at 5:51 am #

    Looks tasty, but how much Italian sausage did you use? Thanks :)

  2. Jessie November 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Debra- thanks for catching that! I used 1 lb. and I’ve updated the recipe!

  3. Sarah November 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    Picture looks great to me! Keep up the posting. I love your blog.

  4. Nikkilooch December 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Oops, I just wrote a comment and it disappeared. I wanted to let you know I just made this soup and ate a bowl. So good. So good. So good. Thank you so much! I’ll be eating this all week.

  5. Maddy February 9, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    this is my all time favorite soup to make! And it makes so much, it’s great for bringing to a friend and having some for your own family still. kind of took my by surprise when i saw it on here. your recipes are always the best!

  6. DJ DeVo March 13, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    A friend made this on Sunday. It was a recipe from a magazine, but looks identical, I’m sure this is the same. It was salty, so be sure to use low sodium broth as shown… You can always add salt if needed.

  7. Hillary VanDeWerken June 18, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    I am making this tonight and it smells delicious! My pot would only fit in 4 cups of broth, but that’s okay it’ll just be really chunky. I tested it before the wine vinegar and I think I’m going to go without it… not something that really needs it. I think it would add a bitterness to it that I wouldn’t like.

    • Hillary November 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

      Just updating on this recipe. I never did add the wine vinegar to this recipe, but it has become one of my favorite recipes to make! It makes such a large pot, but everyone I have made it for has overstuffed themselves like a Thanks Giving dinner on it :)

  8. vanessa August 25, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    I wonder if this could be done in a crockpot?

    • Jessie Davis August 26, 2014 at 9:13 am #

      Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

  9. Jessica D'Angelo September 5, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    This was the best meal I have made to date! So so so good! I used Spanish chorizo sausage instead of Italian, omitted the salt and used low sodium broth and it was the perfect ‘saltiness’! Thank you so much for the recipe :) !!

  10. Elaine October 28, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    Making this as I type! Smells like heaven the little tastes totally delicious. Will be keeping a pot of this handy all winter long. Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

  11. Sarah January 26, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

    I just made up a gargantuan pot of this. I added in fresh spinach and mushrooms, a half cup of orzo and made my base a tomato broth (needed to use it up in the fridge). I skipped the olive oil and used Jennie-O turkey Italian sausage. Oh my goodness – this is so good i just had two servings of it. Yum, yum, yum…thanks for the awesome recipe.

    • Jessie Davis January 28, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

      You’re welcome and thank you for sharing!

  12. Kathy Behrends February 17, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    I made this today, and we loved it! I will be making this again for sure.

  13. Carmen February 19, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

    oh my goodness. This freakin soup is awesome.
    I’m making the soup right now in the mist of a lot of snow outside


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