Sausage-Tomato Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Lentil soup with sausage
Diana Rattray
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 7 hrs
Total: 7 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
300 Calories
8g Fat
41g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 300
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 713mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Protein 19g
Calcium 79mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This spicy sausage and tomato lentil soup is a delicious preparation that requires little effort. Slowly cooked in a crockpot for seven hours, the lentils tenderize to perfection while the tomato flavor builds and makes a deliciously sweet and tangy base for the soup. The addition of smoked sausage adds a rich and deep flavor, while a few aromatics bring the recipe together. Celery, carrots, onions, garlic, and spices give a ton of flavor to the soup. Although we use chicken broth as the cooking liquid for the rest of the ingredients, you can also use water or a mixture of both. This is a great recipe to start at lunchtime, so when it's dinner time the only thing that's left to do is set the table and slice some bread to go with the soup. This soup makes tasty leftovers and can easily be frozen in individual servings for later use.

This is also a great recipe to put your canned tomatoes to good use, saving you some washing, seeding, and chopping time. For the sausage, use any sausage you'd usually eat grilled, but remember that the better the quality you use, the better the flavor of the soup. Chicken and apple sausage, andouille, or your own favorite smoked sausage work great. If you want to make a vegetarian version of this soup, you can always use a plant-based sausage replacement and vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth. With so many good options for plant-based meats, perhaps the only thing you'd need to add is a few drops of liquid smoke to achieve the flavor profile of the original soup.

Because the soup will be cooking for a long time, it's best to add the salt at the end and then taste test before serving in case the mixture needs a little more seasoning. The prolonged cooking time concentrates the flavors, making what can appear to be a properly seasoned dish overly salty at the end. For the same reason, it's best to use low-sodium broth. But if for whatever reason the soups turn out a little salty at the end you can add more lemon or lime juice before serving, or a splash of white vinegar. Serve this soup with cornbread, potato rolls, or crusty bread with a generous amount of butter.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lentils
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 12 ounces​ smoked sausage
  • 6 cups​ chicken broth
  • 2 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach, or Swiss chard or kale
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced; about 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pinch Salt, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse the lentils and drain them thoroughly.

  2. Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker.

  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, until lentils and vegetables are tender.

  4. If desired, puree some of the soup in a blender to thicken. Or, use an immersion blender and blend until you reach the consistency you desire.

  5. Taste and season with salt, as needed.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

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