This sausage and lentil soup is the perfect cozy dinner! It’s easy to make, absolutely good for you, and can handedly feed a hungry crew!

lentil stew topped with crispy sausage in a white shallot bowl set on a gray plate

Why I Love This Recipe

This soup is both hearty and wholesome, it’s easy to make, and makes a serious boatload. Sure, this stey is packed with good-for-you ingredients like kale and lentils, but it also gives off some major comfort vibes thanks to bold flavors like Italian sausage, tomato paste and even Worcestershire.

Ingredients in This Sausage and Lentil Soup

  • Bulk spicy Italian sausage. If you can only find links, that’s totally fine. You’ll just need to remove the sausage from its casing. 
  • Mirepoix. called the trio of aromatics! Diced onion, celery and carrot lay the flavor foundation (and crunch) for this soup. 
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic is the way to go (always)!
  • Tomato paste. This adds depth of flavor and body to the soup, though if you don’t have it, that’s OK.
  • Brown or French green lentils. Either variety works here, just steer clear of red lentils and du Puy lentils (aka black beluga) lentils. 
  • Canned crushed tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes add nice body to the soup. For a brothier soup with chunks of tomato, use canned diced tomatoes with their juices. 
  • Worcestershire sauce. This is totally optional, but if you have it I recommend adding a splash. Worcestershire adds depth of flavor and savoriness to this soup. 
  • Kale. I prefer Tuscan kale here (also called Dinosaur or Lacinato). Regular kale will also work, as would any hardy green like Swiss chard or mustard greens.
  • Parsley. A dose of freshness, though if you don’t have it on hand, no worries.
lentil stew topped with crispy sausage in a white shallot bowl set on a gray plate

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Sausage Lentil Soup

  1. Brown the sausage in a large pot or Dutch oven. Transfer the sausage to a bowl and reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in pot.
  2. Add mirepoix (onion, carrots and celery) and garlic to pot and cook until softened. 
  3. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute then stir in lentils, water, canned tomatoes and Worcestershire. 
  4. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered with a lid, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in kale by handful until wilted then stir in sausage and parsley.
  6. As always, season with additional salt and pepper to taste before serving. 

FAQs About This Soup

Why do you give a range of adding water at the end?

Why do you give a range of adding water at the end?
This is all about preference! If you would prefer this to be more like a stew, skip the added water! And if you prefer it to be a bit thinner and more brothy, add 2 cups of water at the end.

This soup makes so much, can I halve it?

You can absolutely halve this recipe, easy peasy. If you do, I would keep the amount of sausage at 1 pound (the more sausage the better, right?). Cut the amount of everything else in half.

Can I cook this in a slow cooker?

You can definitely cook this in a slow cooker. I would still cook the onions, carrots, celery and garlic on the stove top for a few minutes prior to adding them to the slow cooker with the lentils, tomatoes, water and Worcestershire. Cover and cook the soup on high for 3–4 hours or low for 6–8 hours until lentils are tender.

lentil stew topped with crispy sausage in a white shallot bowl set on a gray plate

Did you make this lentil sausage kale soup recipe? Let me know how it went—leave a comment and star-rating below. And if you snapped a pic, share it on IG and tag me @zestfulkitchen. I love seeing what you make!

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lentil stew topped with crispy sausage in a white shallot bowl set on a gray plate

Sausage and Lentil Soup with Kale

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 14 cups (7 servings) 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

A cozy and comforting lentil and sausage stew packed with vegetables. This recipe makes a lot—but it keeps well all week and can even be frozen.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound bulk spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, diced, (1 ½2 cups)
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt & black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, optional
  • 1 ½ cups dried green or brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, optional
  • 10 cups chopped kale (1 10-ounce bag)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook sausage over medium-high heat until crumbled and browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer meat to a bowl; drain all but 1 tablespoon drippings.
  2. Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to pot with drippings; season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook over medium until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute.
  3. Rinse lentils in a fine-mesh strainer then add to pot along with 7 cups water, tomatoes, and Worcestershire, if using. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce a simmer over medium and cook, partially covered, until lentils are tender, 30–35 minutes.
  4. Stir in kale by handful and simmer until wilted. Stir in sausage, parsley and 1–2 more cups of water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Notes

Storage: this stew will keep for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For longer storage, freeze the stew in zipper-lock bags.

Tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce are both listed as optional, no need to run out for them if you don’t have them. But this soup is best when made with at least one of them.

Vegetarian: you can totally make this vegetarian by skipping the sausage! To cook the vegetables, swap out the drippings for 1 tablespoon olive oil. Without the sausage you’ll have a delicious Lentil Kale Soup!

Slow-cooker instructions: cook the onions, carrots, celery and garlic on the stove top for a few minutes prior to adding them to the slow cooker with the lentils, tomatoes, water and Worcestershire. Cover and cook the soup on high for 3–4 hours or low for 6–8 hours until lentils are tender.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 425
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 1267mg
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 47g
  • Fiber: 19g
  • Protein: 28g
  • Cholesterol: 43mg

Keywords: sausage and lentil soup, sausage lentil soup, lentil sausage kale soup, lentil kale soup

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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