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Italian Lentil Soup with Sausage Plated

Lentil Soup with Sausage

Lentil Soup with Sausage is one of those really feel-good soup recipes that almost everyone enjoys. It’s a hearty soup that is perfect for cooler weather, but that also makes sense to eat year-round. My version is very vegetable-forward and chunky, with loads of protein and nutrition from all of the beans and veggies, including mushrooms, spinach, carrots, celery, onions and tomato. And, the addition of Italian sausage adds a beautiful richness!
5 from 17 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5 people


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup small diced yellow onions
  • ½ cup small diced celery
  • ½ cup small diced carrots
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry red wine, such as chianti or merlot
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, rough chopped
  • ½ cup French or Umbrian lentils, picked through for stones and rinsed, about 4 ounces (See Note.)
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach, rough chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving


  • Prep all ingredients according to specifications above. Place the lentils in a bowl and look for any stones or debris and discard. Rinse the lentils well.
    ½ cup French or Umbrian lentils,
  • Brown sausage: Heat oil in a 6-quart (or larger) pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until it has browned. Break up sausage into bite-sized pieces while stirring. Remove sausage from pot and set aside.
    ¼ cup olive oil, 8 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage,
  • Reduce heat to medium. Then add onions, celery, carrots, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for about 4 minutes, or until vegetables have softened a bit, stirring occasionally.
    1 cup small diced yellow onions, ½ cup small diced celery, ½ cup small diced carrots, 2 Tbsp chopped garlic, ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper
  • Move vegetables to one side of pot. Then, add tomato paste and cook it for about 30 seconds. Add wine and stir to deglaze, loosening and scraping up any browned bits on bottom of pot.
    2 Tbsp tomato paste, ½ cup dry red wine,
  • Add broth, tomatoes, mushrooms, lentils, salt, black pepper, dried herbs, bay leaves and reserved sausage and stir until all ingredients are well-combined.
    5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, 8 ounces white mushrooms,, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp ground black pepper, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried basil, 2 bay leaves
  • Cover pot and bring mixture to a boil. Then, immediately reduce heat to a simmer and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the lentils and all vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add additional liquid if you want a brothier soup.
  • Once the lentils are tender, reduce heat to low and remove the bay leaves. Then, add spinach and cook for another 2 minutes while stirring. Taste and adjust seasonings, then turn off heat.
    5 ounces fresh baby spinach,
  • Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and a light drizzle of high-quality olive oil. Buon Appetito!
    Extra-virgin olive oil,, Grated Pecorino Romano cheese,


  • If you can’t find French or Umbrian lentils (a.k.a., Castelluccio lentils), brown lentils can be used. If using brown lentils, you can reduce the amount of broth by 1 cup.
  • Whenever cooking with lentils or any bean, inspect them in a bowl or on a cutting board for any hard rocks or debris and be sure to discard.
  • Also, note that different lentils take different lengths of time to cook, so adjust the simmering time accordingly and check the lentils every 5 to 10 minutes if you are not sure.
  • To save time when cooking, prep the vegetables in advance and store them in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator for up to one day.
  • Whole tomatoes can be used in place of diced tomatoes; hand-crush the tomatoes prior to adding them to the pot.
  • Frozen spinach can be used in place of fresh. Just be sure to defrost it prior to adding to the soup.
  • The soup gets better as it sits, so it is a great option to make ahead of time. It does, however, tend to get thicker as it sits, so, you may want to add some water when reheating.
  • This soup freezes really well! Make a large batch, portion it into containers and freeze for up to two months to enjoy down the road.
  • Don't forget to drizzle the finished dish with some high quality extra-virgin olive oil for an additional hit of flavor and richness.
Recipe by Mangia With Michele. Please visit my site for more great cooking inspiration!
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