French Lentil Soup with Hot Turkey Sausage and Kale


Here’s a tasty and healthy recipe – perfect for the wet Vancouver weeks we’ve been having, or the cold weather anywhere else. Apparently this is a typical French soup. Since I have only visited France in the summer, I have never had a chance to try this, but it’s delicious!

I found the recipe here, and only changed it a little. I used a few cups of chicken broth along with the water, and about half the amount of sausage. I used less olive oil than the original recipe called for, and I discarded the fat from the sausages instead of adding it to the soup. I think it’s leaner, but still really tasty.

What you need:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups French lentils
  • 300 grams hot Italian sausage (omit for a vegetarian soup)
  • 2-3 cups kale
  • 1 large leek, diced
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs Thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-7 cups water (or 3 cups chicken broth, the rest water)
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Pick through the lentils to make sure there are no small stones hidden in them.
  2. Remove the stems from the kale and cut it into ribbons.
  3. Remove the casing from the sausage. Heat about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot and sear the sausage on both sides, then break it apart. Remove the sausage and discard most of the fat.
  4. Add the red pepper flakes to the little bit of sausage fat, and then add the kale. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté the kale for about 2 minutes. Add it to the removed sausage.
  5. Pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the pot and add the vegetables.  Sauté them for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables become soft and transparent.
  6. Add the thyme, bay leaves, lentils and 6 cups of water.  Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer and cook for 25 – 30 minutes, at which time the lentils should be done.
  7. Add the vinegar, kale, sausage, and any more water to achieve the thickness you want.  Cook for 5 more minutes to reheat the kale and sausage. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  8. You can serve it right away, but it also makes fantastic leftovers. The flavours are even more developed with next day!

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