A lentil soup recipe that is incredibly easy to make, very healthy yet filled with amazing flavor. Indulge a little by adding sausage, too!
It’s that time of the year again when healthy eating pledges are right around the corner. The heavy holiday dishes have finally worn out their welcome and our bodies begin to crave fresh and light foods once again. And if my accidental juice cleanse debacle a few years ago taught me anything, it’s that changing my diet in any direction with a sudden turn is never a good idea.
I created this easy lentil soup recipe with this transition in mind. I looove all things lentil soup (this recipe which uses Moroccan spices sounds amazing) and it’s typically filled with so many healthy goodies that I know my body thanks me. Still, I’m not quite ready to completely let go of the rich holiday treats that I’ve allowed myself to enjoy to excess these past weeks, which is why a little smoked sausage and freshly grated parmesan added to this healthy lentil soup recipe just had to happen.
The great news is that the soup is delicious on its own, even without the sausage and cheese. So you can keep this recipe on standby for when you need something easy, healthy yet still comforting and super tasty. And if you’d like to indulge, toss in the sausage for something special. Another option is to serve the sausage in a bowl and let your family add as much or as little as they’d like. Of course, that would never work for me; I’d be grabbing a fork and eating bites of sausage before the bowl ever made it to the table! But at least my lentil soup recipe is healthy enough that it might just make up for it.
Whatever you’re making and devouring this holiday, I hope that your New Year celebration is all that you wish for and much more! Cheers :)
- 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups dried lentils
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup freshly grated parmagiano-reggiano (parmesan)
- juice of 1/4 lemon (or to taste)
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the olive oil, onions, celery and carrots to drippings in pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about five minutes. Sprinkle in basil, oregano and red pepper flakes, cook one minute. Add garlic, cook one more minute.
- Add lentils, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock and bay leaf, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are soft, at least another hour.
- When lentils are soft and soup is ready to be served, season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in parmesan and reserved sausage along with a squeeze of the lemon to brighten up the flavor (to taste). Serve with extra grated parmesan on the side along with a crusty bread.