Lentil Soup with Spinach and Sausage

Let’s face it, lentils are not sexy.  If all the cool foods like Dulce de Leche and Creme Fraiche got together for a party, Lentils would not be invited.  They are boring looking and even the name lentils sounds like the weird girl in the corner that no one wants to be seen talking to. Lentils are the nerdy, socially awkward, bowling ball-shaped runts of the food world.

lentils

To make up for their lack of social prowess, lentils are forced to bring many health benefits to the table in order to get noticed.  They are high in fiber, low in calories (and on the glycemic index!), extremely filling and will soak up the flavors of whatever liquid you decide to cook them in.  Paired with fresh spinach, smoky kielbasa and a mix of fresh mushrooms this lentil soup will quickly become your best friend while helping you stick to your new, healthful resolutions without having to sacrifice flavor!


mushrooms

I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but where I’m at we are approaching an arctic freeze.  Clearly this type of violently cold weather calls for all things warm, filling and soupy.  This may explain why we have been eating Italian stew and chili on a rotating basis for the past few weeks.  Must … keep … warm!  The filling warmth of this lentil soup has earned a spot in our regular rotation.

lentil soup

I should warn you ahead of time, this is not a pretty soup.  The photos above were taken during the two minutes in which this soup looks stunningly beautiful.  Within a few minutes the spinach will lose it’s luster and the whole soup will turn lentil-colored.  Of course this doesn’t affect the taste, texture or other important aspects of the dish, but you should be warned before considering serving this at a fancy dinner party.  I’d personally advise against it.  Casual dinner with loved ones on a cold night? Perfect. A sit down four-course meal for your boss? Eh, perhaps not.

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Lentil Soup with Spinach and Sausage

Ingredients-

1 pound light (reduced-fat) polish kielbasa
1 medium white onion, diced
1 package (8 oz.) white button mushrooms, sliced
1 package (8 oz.) cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 8 oz. bags of fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme (or a few sprigs of fresh thyme)
2-3 bay leaves
Coarse salt and pepper
Olive oil

Directions-

- Heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Slice the kielbasa in 1/2 inch thick slices and then quarter the slices to end up with small cubes.
- Add sausage to the hot pan. Cook until slightly browned, approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and rest on a plate covered with paper towels. Pat off any excess fat with paper towels.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the hot pan. Add the onions and mushrooms, saute until soft, approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and saute for another minute.
- Add the thyme and bay leaves. Stir until spices are thoroughly combined.
- Add the lentils. Stir together with the onion/mushroom mixture until fully mixed.
- Slowly add the chicken broth. Stir to combine. Increase heat to bring the soup to a boil. Once it begins boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover the pot. Let simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the lentils have become soft, puffed up and absorbed a good amount of the liquid.
- Once the lentils have puffed up, add the spinach in several small batches, stirring to combine.
- Stir in the browned sausage.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm and enjoy!

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13 Responses to “Lentil Soup with Spinach and Sausage”

  1. 1

    This looks awesome! I keep saving lentil recipes but have yet to make one. I must try them soon!

  2. 2

    Great job capturing this lentil soup in all it’s glory. It looks delicious. Perfect for any day! Your photos do make this soup look warm and inviting :)

  3. 3
    Alta — January 5, 2010 7:06 pm

    It sure looks pretty to me! :) I made a lentil, sausage and spinach stew – not as streamlined as yours (I have a tendency to add lots of things in my recipes, whoopsies), but yours looks really tasty.

  4. 4
    Stephanie Velez — January 6, 2010 12:48 pm

    This soup does look amazing! It definitely looks alot prettier than the one my mom makes, which has no spinach in it at all. This sounds like it tastes great! Happy New Year ?

  5. 5
    Vanessa — January 6, 2010 4:25 pm

    I’ve been looking for a good lentil soup recipe and this looks fabulous! Thank you for sharing, I look forward to trying this out!

  6. 6
    Ciaochowlinda — January 8, 2010 5:30 pm

    Well I’m glad you captured the soup in its two minutes of beauty. I made a similar one and put lots of it in the freezer – minus the spinach, which I add as we eat it.

  7. 7
    Muse — January 8, 2010 10:54 pm

    OMG. This is just a tremendous bowl of soup. I added some red pepper flakes while sauteeing the sausage and threw in a couple of whole dried peppers during the simmer. Just wonderful.

  8. 8
    Kevin — January 9, 2010 3:04 pm

    That lentil soup looks really good!

  9. 9
    Sook — January 14, 2010 5:32 pm

    I’ve been reading so much about lentil lately. I will have to get some this weekend and cook this delicious looking soup this coming week!

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  11. 10
    Jolene — September 13, 2010 11:14 am

    Simply fabulous–first time cooking lentils too!

    I stumbled upon your site while googling lentil recipes. I was hoping to make good use out of some garlic/red pepper sausage I picked up from the Whole Foods meat counter… and of course dried lentils. I made a few adjustments given the ingredients I had on hand–ground sausage (casings removed) instead of kielbasa, also added celery and carrot in place of mushrooms. Next time I think I’ll try adding some heat like Thai chilies to dish. Thanks for recipe!

  12. 11
    Linda — November 1, 2011 11:05 am

    This recipe is absolutely delicious. Even my husband likes it. Getting ready to make again today.
    Thanks

  13. 12
    Melissa — November 11, 2011 9:17 pm

    Trying this recipe tonight! :) Your website is amazing – great photos, healthy delicious recipes, and so well-organized and easy to navigate! I can’t even tell you how often I check your website for new recipes – thank you!

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