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Easy Lentil Soup Recipe: A Fast, Healthy Meal on a Budget

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This easy lentil soup recipe with sausage is hearty and comes together quickly using ingredients that you likely already have on hand.

If you prefer your lentils sans meat, try this vegan lentil soup recipe.

sausage lentil soup in blue pot and bowls from above

Crowd pleasing easy lentil soup

My mom often cooks for large crowds, so when she says “people loved it” she means more than just her immediate family. In other words, LOTS of people loved it.

She shared this sausage lentil soup recipe with me years ago, and it’s definitely been a hit at our table.

And check out this comment from Facebook:

Thank you SO much for posting this! I made it for dinner tonight and the whole family LOVES it!!!!!!!

Hard to argue with that!

Lentils cook much more quickly than dry beans, so this has become kind of a staple for us on nights when I need to cobble something together from the pantry. Serve this easy lentil soup with a fresh green salad and some crusty French bread for a complete meal.

You’ll need about 20 minutes to sauté the sausage, onions, and garlic. Once that’s done, there’s an hour and a half required for simmering the other ingredients, but this is a pretty hands-off length of time. Just stir the soup once in awhile as it’s cooking. When it’s done, ladle it up into bowls.

Looking for more frugal and tasty recipes to make with legumes?

You’ll find a collection of bean recipes here!

lentil soup on a spoon

★ Did you make this easy lentil soup? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

sausage lentil soup in blue pot and bowls from above

Sausage Lentil Soup Recipe

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Lentils cook much more quickly than dry beans, so this has become kind of a staple for us on nights when I need to cobble something together from the pantry. If you're vegetarian, simply skip the sausage and use vegetable stock.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups lentils
  • 12 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 24 oz. diced tomatoes, (3 pint jars)
  • 1 cup red wine, (optional, but it really does add depth)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 4 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T. organic brown sugar
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • Chopped green onions for garnish

Instructions

  1. Brown sausage in large soup for about ten minutes, breaking up meat as it cooks.
  2. Stir in onion and garlic; cook for ten minutes more.
  3. Add lentils, stock, bay leaves, carrots, celery, and tomatoes (with juices). Bring soup to a boil, then simmer for an hour.
  4. Remove bay leaf and stir in remaining ingredients except green onions. Simmer for 30 more minutes. Serve with green onions as optional garnish.

Notes

When overcooked, lentils can become quite mushy. I don't recommend this recipe for an all-day slow cooker meal. You can use the slow cooker, but do it when you'll be around to check for doneness.

If you're vegetarian, simply skip the sausage and use vegetable stock.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 1512mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 19gSugar: 8gProtein: 22g

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Originally published in March 2016; this post has been updated.

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

6 comments… add one
  • Debra Mar 24, 2018, 2:42 pm

    This was awesome!

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018, 10:26 pm

    An easy and delicious recipe.

  • Neil Mar 19, 2020, 6:33 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have one question. Are you using dried lentils straight out of the bag, or are you soaking them first?

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 29, 2020, 1:33 pm

      Dried lentils can be used straight out of the bag – they cook quickly. That being said, some people still like to soak the beans to reduce/remove the phytotoxins.

  • JBF Jul 11, 2020, 11:33 am

    Delicious! I used 1/2 amount of lemon juice as well as wine. Otherwise, followed recipe exactly. Makes a lot! Will it freeze?

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 15, 2020, 2:40 pm

      Yes. The lentils will soften a bit in the freezer, but it should work fine.

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