EASY Sausage Lentil Kale Soup (Hearty & Healthy)

This hearty Lentil Sausage Soup recipe with kale will warm you up and keep you wanting more! It’s the perfect hearty soup for chilly winter days. 

PS – Want an even quicker way to make this soup? Try my Instant Pot Lentil Soup. 

Growing up, we ate a lot of processed foods – Hamburger Helper, Macaroni & Cheese, Lunchables.

Somehow I survived… I also ate a lot of canned soup. The lentil soup from Progresso was one of my favorites. I recently tried it again… Ummm… Huh… (scratching head). How did I survive?

Time to step things up a notch – Let’s give that lentil soup an upgrade.

I amped up the flavors in this homemade lentil soup recipe by adding some Italian sausage and baby kale.

The end result? This homemade Lentil Sausage Soup is SO much better than the stuff from the can! I mean, SO much better…

This is a flavor bomb of a soup.

It’s so, so good you guys! 

Ingredients for lentil soup on tray.

Ingredients needed

  • Italian Sausage – You can use mild or hot. If the sausage is in casings, remove them for this recipe. You can also use ground pork or ground beef. Or, try using turkey sausage or chicken sausage.
  • Onion + Garlic
  • Celery
  • Bone Broth – Or chicken stock.
  • Dried Lentils
  • Canned Crushed Tomatoes
  • Baby Kale Leaves – Or spinach, regular kale, or arugula.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – Gives a bit of tang to the soup. You can also use balsamic vinegar or a bit of lemon juice.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – Optional.
  • Fresh Parsley – To brighten up the flavors.
  • Salt + Black Pepper

How to make it

  • Sauté the sausage. Cook until meat crumbles and begins to brown.
  • Add onion, celery and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add stock, lentils, red pepper flakes, tomatoes and stir.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add kale and vinegar. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!
Overhead close up of hands holding bowl of lentil soup.

Variations

You can swap out the pork sausage in this recipe for chicken sausage or turkey sausage. Or, try one of the variations below:

  • Vegan Lentil Soup: Leave out the sausage and swap the chicken broth for vegetable stock. You could add in 1 pound of diced potatoes too.
  • Lentil Soup with Ham: Swap out the sausage for 1 1/2 cups cooked & cubed ham. Add it when the stock and lentils go in.
  • Lentil Soup with Bacon: Swap out the sausage for 6 strips of thick bacon cut into 1/2″ pieces. Brown it using the sauté function as you would with the sausage.
  • Red Lentil Soup: Swap the green lentils for red lentils. The cook time will remain the same, but your soup will be a bit more creamy as the red lentils will break down more.
  • Want it quicker? You can also make this instant pot lentil soup.

How to make ahead & store

  • To Store: Store in a tightly covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat: Gently reheat on the stove over medium-low heat until hot. You can also microwave the leftovers.
  • To Freeze: Store in a tightly sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Recipe FAQs

Do lentils need to be soaked before making soup?

No. There’s no need to soak lentils before cooking with them. Simply rinse them and pick through for stones.

Are lentil soups healthy?

Yes! Lentils are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also fat free. In this soup, they combine with hearty kale which is also packed with nutrients.

Can you freeze lentil soup?

Yes. You can store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

What to serve with it

Wine pairings

  • Medium-bodied, rustic wines like Chianti, Cotes du Rhone, and Sangiovese have earthy, spicy flavors that echo those in the Italian sausage and lentils.
Overhead close up of bowl of lentil soup with spoon.

More lentil recipes

Have you made any upgrades to some of your favorite childhood foods? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Did you try this lentil sausage kale soup?

If you loved this sausage kale lentil soup, I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on  Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Facebook.

Overhead close up of hands holding bowl of lentil soup.

  • 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 celery stalks (thinly sliced, with leafy tops)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 cups bone broth (or chicken stock)
  • 2 cups dried lentils (rinsed and sorted)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 5 cups loosely packed baby kale leaves
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, cook sausage over medium-high heat until the meat crumbles and begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

  • Add stock, lentils, red pepper flakes and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer, partially cover, and cook until lentils are tender, 30-35 minutes.

  • Add kale and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 2-3 minutes, Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

  • To Store: Store in a tightly covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat: Gently reheat on the stove over medium-low heat until hot. You can also microwave the leftovers.
  • To Freeze: Store in a tightly sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 846mg | Potassium: 1409mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 6033IU | Vitamin C: 89mg | Calcium: 190mg | Iron: 8mg

 This post was originally published in 2020. It was updated in 2024. The lentil soup with sausage and kale recipe remains the same. Enjoy!



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