Sausage and Lentil Soup

It’s no big secret that I wholeheartedly adore Fall and right along with the chilly temps and gorgeous leaves comes soup season. And let me tell ya – I also wholeheartedly enjoy soup.

There’s just something about a big pot of soup simmering away on the stove that makes me want to throw some wood into the fireplace and curl up on the couch all day. Soup is warm, comforting and in my opinion it’s the perfect Autumn dinner. There’s just one problem and the problem would be my family.

They refer to soup as a “tease” and think that it should never be referred to as dinner – more specifically – their dinner. I remember one of the first times that I made soup for them, they slurped it down and within a few minutes stated something like, “That was great, now what’s for dinner?” Um, hello – you just ate it!

Typically I’ll their meat and potato ways, but sometimes I can slip a soup into our repertoire that qualifies as a meal instead of an appetizer. Sausage and Lentil Soup is just that kind of creation. It’s loaded with Italian sausage and veggies cooked in a rich tomato broth. And if you’re a fan of Carrabba’s Sausage and Lentil Soup, you may be a little excited to hear that this copycat version tastes very similar!

Serve this Sausage and Lentil soup with a loaf of fresh bread – or maybe even Beer Bread – and you’ll have a meal that will please just about anyone!

Sausage and Lentil Soup

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


1 pound green lentils

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb ground Italian sausage (You can also use ground Italian turkey sausage)
1 cup diced onion (about 1 large)
1 ½ cups diced celery (about 4 stalks)
1 ½ cups diced carrots (about 3-2 large)
1 ½ cup diced zucchini (about 1 small)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)

2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme

6 cups chicken broth
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

grated Parmesan
fresh parsley


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

2. In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add in the Italian sausage. Brown the sausage until it is cooked through.

3. Add in the onions, celery, carrots, zucchini, garlic, herbs and spices, cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

4. Add the chicken stock, canned tomatoes, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 ½ hours, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed to adjust the consistency of the soup. We tend to prefer ours a little on the thick side, so I add in about 3 cups half way through the cook time.

6. Check the seasonings – add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan and fresh parsley.

My Baking Addiction adapted from

34 Responses to “Sausage and Lentil Soup”

  1. Val — November 9, 2011 at 7:10 am

    My husband is the same way, soup isn’t a meal to him…he’s just gotta have a sandwich with it. Men! LOL
    This soup sounds really great and I want to try it even though I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a lentil in my life! How well do you think this would freeze? Thanks!!


  2. Savorique — November 9, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I make lentil soup every week in the winter. With the same ingredients except for the broth. I don’t see the use of it here, there are so much goodies already between the herbs and celeri/carrot + cheese.


  3. Katrina — November 9, 2011 at 7:27 am

    What a delightful soup!


  4. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — November 9, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Hubs loves this type of soup, and this looks like a great recipe, thanks for sharing!


  5. Lauren — November 9, 2011 at 9:56 am

    My husband is the same way! He never grew up eating soup for dinner, just meat and potatoes! So when I make it, he claims it never fills him up! Psh…


  6. Cookbook Queen — November 9, 2011 at 9:57 am

    This looks so yummy and cozy for Fall!! I looove soup for dinner, but my husband is the same way. Last night we had Lasagna Soup, and I think he was able to handle it only because I served tons of bread and salad with.


  7. Shelly @ Kaye Syrah — November 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Now that I am experiencing my first Autumn in nearly a decade (I’ve been living in the tropics. Don’t hate me) I can’t get enough soup. My family has been crying “Enough already” but I think I’ll have to make a batch of this before sending the stock pot into semi-retirement.


  8. Kiran @ — November 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    We have lentil soup all the time. With a side of crusty bread to mop up all the deliciousness :)


  9. Holly W — November 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I LOVE soup. I could eat it every day of the autumn and winter. I linked up a GREAT soup but I’m awesome and labeled it wrong – soup# 16 is Minestrone Soup :) Oops! Forgive my novice ways.


  10. Amber — November 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Mmmm. I want this for dinner! I wish I had some lentils handy.


  11. Tracy — November 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    This sounds perfectly delicious! I am all over lentils right now. Yum.


  12. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — November 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Lentil soup is one of my favorites… Love the flavors in this one. I am craving it for dinner now!


  13. Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — November 9, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    That soup sounds amazing…perfect for the cooler fall weather. I will definitely be trying this one.


  14. Ann — November 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Our guys are total opposites! Mine loves soup for dinner. …and I love sausage and lentil soup! Beautiful photos – as always!


  15. Ann P. — November 10, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Oooh what I wouldn’t give for a big bowl of this soup and a huge hunk of fresh yeasty bread right now! That tomato broth looks heavenly, and just right for cold days like this!


  16. Deanna — November 10, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I’d love to know how you make a bowl of soup look so beautiful! It’s been soup central over here and I’ve been filling up my freezer. This recipe may be next!


  17. Living The Sweet Life — November 10, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Looks delicious!! I love lentil soup … never tried it with any sort of meat in it, this recipe will be the first :) thanks.


  18. Wenderly — November 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    That photo is stunning Jamie! My husband is exactly the same way about soup! And I adore it! I don’t think he’ll turn his nose up at THIS gorgeous hearty soup though!


  19. Amber — November 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Amber’s Texas Style Chili
    Makes approximately 1 gallon of chili.

    1 large Green Bell Pepper
    1 large Poblano Pepper
    1 large sweet onion
    Garlic (6 cloves or 6 tsp minced garlic from jar)
    3 lbs round steak
    1 lb roll of Jimmy Dean’s HOT sausage
    1 TBSP Kosher Salt
    1 tsp Pepper
    5 TBSP (+) Worcestershire Sauce
    2 TBSP Liquid Smoke (I used HICKORY flavored)
    1/2 can pureed chipotle peppers with adobo sauce (about 6 or 7 peppers, use a good amount of sauce & puree to a thick paste)

    2-15oz cans of Bush’s Mild Chili Beans
    2-28oz cans of Hunt’s Crushed Tomatoes
    2 TBSP (+) Chili Powder
    5 dashes (+) Tabasco sauce
    1 1/2 tsp (+) Cumin
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 Tbsp (+) Ground Cayenne Pepper or Weber Grill Creations N’Orleans Cajun Seasoning (I used the latter one)

    1. Chop the peppers & onion, medium dice.
    2. Put chopped vegetables in a LARGE bowl & add minced garlic. (Will be mixing veggies & meats, so a bowl big enough for approx. 4-5 cups veggies & 4 lbs. meat)
    3. Chop the steak into about half inch cubes. Add to bowl.
    4. Break up sausage into pieces straight into the bowl.
    5. Add 1 TBSP kosher salt & a tsp of ground black pepper. Add 5 TBSP of worcestershire, 2 TBSP of liquid smoke, & chipotle paste to start. Rub the marinade through all meat & veggies. Then determine if you need more liquid. You don’t want a soup, but you want it to be moist & have everything covered. I ended up adding more worcestershire & liquid smoke to mine.
    6. Refrigerate overnight if possible, but at least 4 hours.

    1. After meat has been refrigerated overnight it’s time to start cooking. Use a large skillet (12″) to cook the meat in batches. If you cram the meat in one pot it will take longer to cook & you’ll steam the meat. So work in 3 batches. Each batch will take 7-10 minutes on medium-high heat. As your meat browns, you’ll notice liquid coming out of the meat & veggies. This is good, however, don’t cook it so long that you boil it all away. Reduce the liquid a little bit, so you don’t end up with soup instead of chili; then add meat & liquid straight to the pot. Continue batches till all meat is browned.
    2. Once all of the browned meat is dumped into a BIG pot, you can add the entire can(s) of chili beans. Then, add almost one entire can of crushed tomatoes. You want to add them slowly so you control the consistency of the chili. If you like it soupy add more tomatoes, if you like it chunky use less. I used about 1 1/2 cans for a medium chunky texture. Just make sure you add them slowly and stir after each addition. It can turn to soup real quickly.
    3. Once you get the consistency you like, it’s time to season the chili. Start with 2 TBSP chili powder, about 5 dashes of Tabasco sauce, 1 1/2 tsp of cumin, & 1/4 cup sugar. Top it off with a few shakes of cayenne or cajun. I like mine medium hot so I added about 1 TBSP of cajun seasoning, start small especially if you used cayenne instead of the cajun. Just remember to add a little at first & you can always add more. I did end up adding more of each ingredient focusing on the chili powder & cajun. Taste after each addition of seasoning making sure the amount of heat is right for you.
    4. All you have to do now is let it simmer. At minimum, 2 hours, but if you have 4 that’s great. This long, slow cooking process really gives the meat a chance to become very tender, & all the flavors & spices to come together. Enjoy chili with homemade corn bread or bread sticks, cheese & sour cream if desired.


  20. Karen Lynch — November 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Roasted Turkey with Herbs

    1 15-18 pound turkey
    1 stick unsalted butter
    2 T flat leaf parsley finely chopped
    1 T sage, finely chopped
    1 T rosemary stripped off stem and crushed
    1T thyme, finely chopped
    salt and pepper
    6C chicken stock
    3 carrots
    3 stalks celery
    onion quartered
    apple quartered

    Rinse and pat dry turkey, season cavity of turkey with salt and pepper and place half of carrots, celery,onion,and apple in cavity. Remaining produce will be in roasting pan.

    In a blender or food processor combine herbs and butter and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.. Rub over turkey. Place turkey on roasting rack placed on top of produce in pan. Pour two cups of stock into pan.

    Place in preheated oven of 400. After 30 minutes lower heat to 325 and roast additional 2 1/2 hours or until turkey reaches 160. Baste turkey every 30 minutes with leftover stock every 30 minutes.

    While turkey is resting for 30 minutes out of oven, strain pan drippings when done and make gravy with drippings and any leftover stock.


  21. Tessa — November 10, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Beer bread + this soup sounds like the perfect fall meal!


  22. Aimee @ Simple Bites — November 11, 2011 at 8:26 am

    My kind of soup. And we’re so into the hearty soups right now. Thanks, Jamie!


  23. Tickled Red — November 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Delicious soup! I’m going to have to make this for DS, he loves lentils.


  24. Dena Hamlin — November 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Crock Pot Potato Soup with Bacon

    8-10 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
    1 small onion, chopped
    1/2 pound bacon, crisped, drained, and crumbled
    1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
    3 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth or 1 lg. boxed container of broth
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    (I usually add 1 tsp or so of dried oregano as well to taste and a bay leaf or two)

    Put the potatoes, onion, and bacon in the crock pot.
    {I like to cook my bacon first, then carmelize the onions in the bacon fat and add all that delicious flavor on into the crock}

    Combine the other ingredients (cream cheese, chicken broth, chicken soup, pepper) in a large bowl and whisk together.

    Add the mixture to the crock pot, and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours (time will vary depending upon your crock.)

    Near the end of cooking, pour about 1/3 of the soup into the blender and mix it. This helps the soup to thicken up. *Don’t skip this step! The soup will look runny and chunky, but you pop some of it in the blender and you will have this gorgeous thick soup!*


    -Add some cheese, or substitute the cream of chicken soup for cheese soup

    -Add corn or other veggies to make chowder

    Top with crumbled bacon bits, sour cream and chives or green onions, if desired



  25. Carmen — November 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Rustic Baked Potato Soup

    4 baking potatoes or 6 medium potatoes (~ 2 lbs)
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    3/4 cup flour
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
    1 cup milk (skim is fine)
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp marjoram, optional
    1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (1/4 cup reserved)
    6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

    Wash the potatoes and pierce the skins. Bake in a 400°F oven for approximately an hour, or until tender. This can be done ahead of time, or just before making the soup. Roughly chop the potatoes, skins included into bite-sized pieces.
    In a large pot, gently cook the garlic and onions in olive oil until the onions start to become translucent.
    Mix the flour with the cream until blended; set aside.
    Add the chicken broth, milk, salt, pepper and marjoram to the onion/garlic mixture. Add in the flour mixture and bring to a boil until it starts to thicken. Reduce heat and add the chopped potatoes, the cheddar cheese, and bacon. Cook over low heat until hot.
    Sprinkle a bit of cheddar cheese over each individual bowl after serving. You can also reserve some bacon to sprinkle on top.


  26. Donna B. — November 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    I’ll be making this soup over the weekend!

    Corn and Potato Chowder

    2 lb. russet potatoes, cut into small dice
    4 cans chicken stock, plus additional water (enough to cover the potatoes)
    leftover ham bone (if you have one – I put mine in the freezer and save it for this soup!!)
    1 lb. ham, cut into small chunks if you don’t have a ham bone with leftover meat on it
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 medium red onion, finely chopped
    1 medium red pepper, finely chopped (optional)
    12 oz. package bacon (I generally use thick cut), diced
    2 bay leaves
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
    2 cans of corn (whole kernel or creamed), or 1 16 oz package frozen corn
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 cup half-and-half (could use milk but it won’t be as creamy)

    sour cream
    shredded cheese (I use a sharp cheddar)
    finely chopped green onion (can use red onion but it will have a sharper bite to it)

    Put the potatoes in a large dutch oven, add chicken stock, water, ham bone, bay leaves and cayenne and put them on simmer until the potatoes are just shy of being done. Remove the bay leaves and the ham bone. Allow the ham bone to cool, then remove and reserve any meat. DO NOT DISCARD THE LIQUID. That will be the base of your soup.

    In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat (slowly, you want to render the fat and totally crisp up the bacon). Remove the bacon and drain on paper towel, discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat (and don’t lose the brown bits on the bottom of the pan!!). In the reserved bacon fat, saute the onions, red pepper and garlic until softened.

    Add the sauteed veggies to the potatoes, then add the corn, ham, thyme, parsley, sour cream and half-and-half and stir. Heat on a very low simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with the garnishes listed, plus the reserved cooked bacon.


  27. Brandy — February 17, 2012 at 11:17 am

    This is the BEST soup!!! I couldn’t stop eating it! I will have to serve it at my next dinner party!! Thanks for sharing your recipe! :)


  28. Felicia — March 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Finally tried this soup and LOVED it! Thanks for much!


  29. clair — February 11, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Made this lentil soup… I loves Carrabas so wanted to find a similar recipe… This was good, my boyfriend and I ate it for three days and it was as good as the 1st day….LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  30. Sue — March 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I made this soup today and it was excellent. I used a pound of ground sausage but didn’t have the zucchini, otherwise made it following the recipe. I’ve never liked lentil soup before but this certainly converted me. This is a great recipe and easy, too. I wonder what you would have to do differently to make it in a slow cooker. Anybody know?


  31. Mikell — November 2, 2013 at 11:29 am

    My husband was like that for years, and I was so frustrated! As he’s gotten older, he’s changed. Now soup is just fine! Just want you to know there is hope!


  32. sarah — November 2, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    What is the difference between green lentils and red lentils


  33. Patricia — March 7, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    We totally loved this. I used red lentils as that is what was in my pantry. Thank you so much for the recipe.


    • Jamie — March 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for visiting.


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