Spice up your winter nights with a steaming bowl of Sausage Lentil Soup!
Lentils simmer in a rich beef broth with bacon, onions, and carrots, are seasoned and are finished with beef sausages. Just add thick slices of crusty bread on the side and indulge in this ultimate deliciousness!
This recipe belongs to my German Recipe Collection.
Lentil Soup (German: Linsensuppe) is one of those comfort food recipes most Germans love. You'll often find that the local butcher offers a limited lunch menu and will, 9 out of 10 times, feature a Lentil Soup with sausages.
But it's actually an easy recipe that we can make at home. It's great for meal prep and perfect if you enjoy a Sunday meal prep session.
Why This Sausage Lentil Recipe Works
LIMITED INGREDIENTS - I love lentil soup because it's what I call a 'fridge and pantry shopping recipe,' meaning that I generally have all of the ingredients at home except for the beef franks, which I don't stock.
EASY TO PREP - This soup literally takes minutes to prep. However long it takes you to slice and dice the bacon and onion. Once that's done, you'll get them cooking and have plenty of time to dice the carrots.
PROTEIN POWERHOUSE - This soup is full of protein. Bacon, sausage, and lentils are all full of protein. This means that this soup will keep you and your family satisfied for hours.
Please check the recipe card below for a detailed, printable ingredient list.
LENTILS - Brown, "regular" dry lentils that you can find in any supermarket. I've linked the brand I use in the recipe card.
ONIONS - Yellow onions are a great choice. They sauté well and add a nice bit of base flavor.
CARROTS - These are a must-add to me. I like them both for taste, texture, and pop of color.
BEEF STOCK - I recommend using beef broth or beef stock for this recipe. You'll find some other options below, but this is the one I like best. You will need two cartons of beef stock (64 ounces).
BAY LEAVES - I love adding bay leaves because they add another layer of flavor. But this is an optional ingredient. I've made lentil soup plenty of times without bay leaves, and nobody came up and complained the soup tasted off. 😉
VINEGAR - I prefer white wine vinegar for this recipe. But you can also use red wine vinegar.
In the recipe, I give you a range of how much vinegar and sugar to add. I do that because it is highly individual as to how pronounced you want the sweet-sour flavors to be.
Start with ¼ cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar. This amount will give the soup a lift but not overpower it.
You might ask yourself why we are adding vinegar to this recipe. There's actually a good reason. Lentils can be challenging to digest.
However, using fermented acids like those found in vinegar helps digest the legumes more easily. It also helps to absorb the protein. Because as I mentioned earlier, lentils are a protein powerhouse.
SUGAR - Balances the vinegar. I recommend increasing the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the perfect sweet-and-sour combination that works best for your taste buds.
RELATED RECIPE: Warm German Potato Salad. The "addicting" dressing for this potato salad also features a fabulous combination of bacon, vinegar, and a dash of sugar.
VEGETABLES - Part of the charm of this recipe is that we are keeping it simple. But if you are ready to customize this recipe a bit further, here are a few veggies that go very well with this soup, such as leek, celery, or fennel.
By the way, whilst this recipe is based on the German Lentil soup, I should add that in Germany, we use celery bulbs rather than stalks - but both work.
VEGAN - Of course, the first thing is to omit both the bacon and the sausages. Use olive oil to sauté the onions. Next, substitute beef broth with vegetable stock. In this case, I would recommend adding a few additional vegetables, such as leek and celery.
BROTH - I am using two cartons of beef stock, but you can also combine beef and vegetable stock or use chicken broth or chicken instead.
SAUSAGE - My Lentil Sausage Soup Recipe is based on the German Lentil Soup (Linsensuppe) I grew up with. So we typically would add Vienna Sausages (Wiener Würstchen) or something similar to Beef Franks, which is what I use in this recipe.
But you can also add Italian sausage or turkey sausage if that's more to your liking.
How To Make A Sausage Lentil Soup Recipe
Please check the printable recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- SAUTÉ - bacon and onions. Once sautéed, add lentils.
- COOK - add beef broth and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add carrots and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the lentils are tender.
- SEASON - Add vinegar and sugar. Taste test and season with salt and pepper. If desired, add more vinegar and sugar. Serve and garnish with fresh parsley.
There's nothing better than soup with a slice of fresh warm crusty bread.
Storage and Leftovers
STORE - Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Because lentils are cooked legumes, some people prefer to keep them only for 1-2 days, but I've made lentil soups for many years and never had a problem.
If you are concerned, make sure to store them in the coolest part of your refrigerator. Or, if you have a fridge with climate control areas, place the leftovers in the coldest compartment.
FREEZE - Yes, this Sausage Lentil Soup freezes beautifully. Before freezing, make sure the soup has cooled down completely. Transfer the soup into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container, label it, date it, and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More Delicious Soup Recipes
AMERICAN GOULASH - ground beef cooked to perfection in a deliciously spiced tomato sauce, served with tender pasta and topped with Cheddar cheese
PUMPKIN CURRY SOUP - classic pumpkin and curry spices into a deliciously rich and creamy soup
CHICKEN POTATO SOUP - rich and creamy one-pot hearty soup topped with crisp bacon bits
HAMBURGER SOUP - A hearty and flavorful soup made with ground beef, vegetables, and savory seasonings.
BEEF STEW - tender beef is simmered to perfection in a roasted garlic red wine beef stew
HUNGARIAN GOULASH - hearty beef stew with melt-in-your-mouth tender beef, perfectly sautéed onions, and a blend of delicious spices
Please take a moment to rate the Lentil Soup below! ~ Thank you.
Sausage Lentil Soup
- 1 bag lentils (dry) Goya lentils you'll find in every supermarket, linked for reference
- 12 ounces bacon (thick-cut) thick-cut bacon is preferable, but regular bacon works, too - see blog post for more details
- 1½ cups onion diced, 1-2 small onions, or 1 medium onion
- 1½-2 cups carrots diced, 1-2 carrots
- 2 whole bay leaves recommended, but optional
- 64 ounces beef stock beef broth works, too
- ¼-½ cup white wine vinegar please refer to the notes section as to why I am giving a range
- ⅛-⅓ cup sugar please refer to notes why I am giving a range
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium heat.
- Once the bacon starts to cook a bit, add a splash of beef broth and the diced onions. Sauté the onions for about 10 minutes.
- Add the dry lentils to the pot. Stir them well so they mix with the bacon and onions.
- Pour the rest of the beef stock into the pot. If you're using bay leaves, add them now. Cover the pot with a lid and bring everything to a boil.
- Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer. Let it cook for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, add the diced carrots to the pot. Keep the soup simmering for another 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
- Now it’s time to make it just how you like it! Add white wine vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.
- If you're using diced beef franks, add them now. Let them simmer until they're warm, which should take about 1 minute.
- Serve your soup hot. If you like, you can add some fresh parsley on top for garnish.