Ina’s sausage and lentil soup is an incredibly delicious, hearty, and filling lentil soup with kielbasa and lots of veggies.


Seriously, could you ask for a better frigid weather meal than a piping hot bowl of hearty soup? Probably not!

OK, maybe this Cabernet short rib ragu over parmesan polenta might win out in the frigid weather meal category but, when it comes to winter soup, lentil soup wins the prize!

Yes, even my favorite bacon cheddar ale soup comes in 2nd place to lentil soup in the middle of the winter! Can you imagine??

If for no other reason, this week of bitter, record cold weather has reminded me how much I love soup. And if you remember way back when, I couldn’t make soup for the life of me.

My my, how things have changed!

These days, it seems like every soup I make is better than the last (except the bread soup I made a few weeks ago). And maybe that’s because I’m more confident in making soup now than I was back in the day, but I think it’s more because I know where to look for fabulous recipes.

Ina, of course!

Kyle actually was the one who pointed out this recipe to me when we were watching The Barefoot Contessa a few months ago. I’m sure it popped out at him because it’s got kielbasa in it but that’s OK with me. He loooooves kielbasa!

I’d been looking to try another legume-based, high fiber soup so I ran out a bought some lentils. And then?

Those lentils proceeded to sit in my pantry for 6 weeks until I overhauled the pantry at the New Year (my bi-yearly tradition). I had forgotten I bought them but was so happy to have remembered about this soup after I found them!


This sausage and lentil soup will seriously rival any lentil soup you find at a restaurant. It’s thick and completely full of flavor (the seasonings are written perfectly as they are in the recipe – no tweaking was needed). And to boot, I didn’t feel as if I was eating a mouthful of dry or mushy beans.

The lentils were soft but still held onto a tiny bit of bite even after have been cooked for an hour.

Lentil Soup With and Without Meat

The addition of the kielbasa was pure genius! Salty, flavorful, and a soft textural difference with the rest of the soup. I love love loved it!!

If you’re not into kielbasa, I’m sure that you can add sliced pork or chicken sausage. Ohh! Chorizo would be delish here too! (Yes, I’m still dreaming of that split pea and chorizo soup!!)

Just be sure to pre-cook the sausage before you add it to the soup unless the sausage is pre-cooked already.

Or, if you’re looking for a vegetarian lentil soup, let me point you in the direction of my lentil and black bean soup. All the soup goodness without the meat!

Kyle loved this sausage and lentil soup so much that he requested all the leftovers for his lunches this week. Which of course didn’t happen because I had to at least enjoy one more meal!

I’m actually putting this soup on the menu again in a couple of weeks when we have company coming to stay for the weekend and am already getting excited about making it again!

Ina's Sausage and Lentil Soup

Ina's Sausage and Lentil Soup

Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Ina's sausage and lentil soup is a cozy and comforting soup full of soft lentils, kielbasa, and lots of veggies. The Contessa does it again with another winner recipe!


  • 1 lb French green lentils (recommended: du Puy) - see note below
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (2 large cloves)
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
  • 3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
  • 3 quarts chicken stock or broth
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 lb kielbasa, cut in half lengthwise and sliced ⅓-inch thick
  • 2 tbsp dry red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings and adjust as needed. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.


This recipe makes A LOT of soup. I halved the recipe and still ended up with 6 decent-sized servings.

If you can't find green lentils, or more specifically, French green lentils, brown lentils will work well in this recipe too.

adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten

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  • January 17, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    I am still trying to learn to love lentils. This look like a great recipe for me to try!

  • January 18, 2009 at 10:04 AM

    I had a specific request from my husband to cook more lentils after having a great soup at a restaurant. Thanks for sharing this!

  • January 18, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    I love sausage and lentil soup! The one I make is my husband’s favorite.

  • January 21, 2009 at 4:40 AM

    Sausages and lentils is one of the best, most comforting winter eats possible. Nice job

  • January 21, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    Wow fantastic ideas for my next lunch with my friends.

    Bye from Italy by – A taste of Italian sweets

    If you want you cant add your blog in my blogroll All your recipes

  • January 22, 2009 at 1:52 AM

    the soup looks a bit thick-must be tasty!

  • January 25, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    I’m making this tonight and I’m really looking forward to it! Joe and I only eat lentils (just a bite) on New Year’s Eve as per his grandmother’s instructions (apparently they bring good luck in the coming year) but we always like them so I thought this soup would be a good chance to try them for real. And it seems perfect for a cold Sunday night! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • January 26, 2009 at 10:13 PM

    […] Sausage and Lentil Soup […]

  • Diane Epstein
    January 13, 2022 at 12:35 PM

    Try it with red lentils. It is great!

    • Tara
      January 15, 2022 at 10:05 PM

      Great idea! Thanks, Diane!