A lentil soup recipe that is incredibly easy to make, very healthy yet filled with amazing flavor. Indulge a little by adding sausage!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
Easy Recipe: This soup can be prepared in just 10 minutes and requires minimal attention while it simmers.
Healthy Lentil Soup: I created this easy lentil soup recipe with a healthy transition from the holidays to the new year in mind. The heavy holiday dishes have finally worn out their welcome and our bodies begin to crave fresh and light foods once again. A little smoked sausage and freshly grated parmesan helps with that transition and I can attest that this soup is delicious on its own, as well.
Holiday & New Years Dish: Eating lentils on New Years or Feast Day of Pope Saint Sylvester is a popular Italian tradition and in many other cultures coin-like lentils are associated with prosperity and good luck. The heartiness, warmth, and versatility of this soup makes it perfect for the holiday and winter seasons.
Lentil Soup Ingredient Notes
This is my version of Italian lentil soup is which is commonly made with nutritious lentils, vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, herbs and a broth base.
Dried Lentils: I have used brown and green lentils (French lentils) which are mostly interchangeable and both retain their texture upon cooking. Brown lentils are common in Italian lentil soup but green (French lentils) or yellow and red lentils (split lentils) are often used as well, depending on personal preference.
Sausage: This recipe calls for smoked sausage but feel free to substitute with Italian sausage, Kielbasa or your favorite sausage. Ground beef, turkey, ham, or leftover chicken will work too.
Parmigiano Reggiano: Parmesan will work as a substitute in a pinch for this recipe. Parmigiano Reggiano refers to regions where it is made and must be aged at least 2 years, while many parmesans are aged about 10 months and can be made anywhere in the world.
How to Make Lentil Soup from Scratch
This Lentil Soup recipe is delicious, yes, but it’s also incredibly simple! There’s a small amount of chopping but it’s otherwise dump and simmer. I find soup recipes to be pretty simple in general, which is such a bonus since they typically make a lot. This lentil soup recipe is no exception, and the leftovers reheat wonderfully!
How to Make Instant Pot Lentil Soup
I’ve included the instructions you’ll need to speed things up using an Instant Pot. I make it both ways and there’s no discernible difference in taste or texture, so choose whichever method you prefer.
Whatever you’re making and devouring this holiday, I hope that your New Year celebration is all that you wish for and much more!
Lentil Soup Variations
Vegetable Lentil Soup: This 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.
Soup Station: Serve the sausage and Parmigiano Reggiano separately and let your friends and 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.
Spicy Lentil Soup: Add some heat to this recipe with red pepper flakes or red chili peppers.
- 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 Parmigiano-Reggiano or parmesan
- juice of 1/4 lemon, or to taste
Lentil Soup Stovetop Instructions
- 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.
Lentil Soup Instant Pot Instructions
- Press "Saute" to preheat the IP. When the word “hot” appears on the display, add the sausage and cook until it is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the olive oil, onions, celery and carrots to drippings in pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about five minutes. Sprinkle in the basil, oregano and red pepper flakes, cook one minute more. Add the garlic, cook another minute.
- Add the lentils, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock and bay leaf, stirring well to combine. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Press “Soup” and immediately adjust the timer to 30 minutes. Check that the cooking pressure is on “high” (this should be the default) and that the release valve is set to “Sealing”.
- When the time is up, release the pressure using “Quick Pressure Release”. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the parmesan and reserved sausage along with a squeeze of the lemon to brighten up the flavor (to taste). Season well with salt and pepper.
- Serve with extra grated parmesan on the side along with a loaf of crusty bread.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 1115mgCarbohydrates: 25gNet Carbohydrates: 19gFiber: 6gSugar: 11gProtein: 17g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.
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