Lentils are small-sized legumes that pack a huge kick of nutrition! Each serving contains fiber, protein, carbs, and minerals. This often overlooked legume is extremely versatile and can be used in many dishes. They’re delicious whole in soups, salads, stews, sauces but also work well pureed.
Lentils often come dry in bags, but unlike many other dry beans, their small size means you don't have to pre-soak them overnight to cook them. You can just toss them in a soup or boil them and they're ready to go! This saves you time and can result in a tasty meal.

Sausage and Lentil Soup


  • 1 pound Hot Italian Sausage (or smoked sausage, sliced)

  • ¾ pound dried lentils, rinsed and drained (1 ¾ cup)

  • 1 cup diced ham (or drained and rinsed canned pork)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)

  • 1 or 2 medium carrots, diced (3/4 cup) 

  • 1  or 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 28 ounces beef broth

  • 28 ounces chicken broth

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach



  1. (If using ground sausage) Place sausage in a large pot. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown.

  2. Combine all ingredients except spinach in a 5-quart slow cooker.

  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or until lentils are tender.

  4. Add spinach, cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove and discard bay leaves. Makes about 12 cups.


You can also make this in a large pot . Bring all ingredients to a boil, then cover and simmer for 1-2 hours or until lentils are tender.

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Last updated 2020

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