This hearty lentil soup with spinach and sausage recipe includes baby carrots, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, Italian sausage, and spinach. As lentils are rich in taste and hold their shape well when cooked, this soup is no doubt a perfect choice for a sumptuous weekend dinner.
What Is a Lentil?
Lentils are a member of the legume family and belong to the same group as beans and peas. Their lenticular seeds grow in pods (usually two seeds per pod).
Lentils are known for their delicate and earthy taste, making them the first choice for various dishes. They’re budget-friendly, cook quickly, and require no soaking— you can easily mix lentils into curries, soups, stews, or sauces.
Is Our Lentil Soup with Spinach and Sausage Healthy?
In every 100 grams of lentils, you’ll get 352 calories, 10.7 grams of fiber, 24.63 grams of protein, and only 1.06 grams of total fat.
Lentils are a high-quality, plant-based protein source. They’re extremely low in fat and rich in fiber.
Lentils have both soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as complex carbohydrates, which can release glucose slowly and stably. The glycemic index of lentils is very low, only 32±5, making them an excellent aid for weight loss.
Thanks to their high soluble fiber content, lentils can help stabilize blood sugar, reduce blood cholesterol, and prevent constipation and other digestive issues.
Lentils are also a nutritious, versatile, and easy-to-use meat substitute. They contain other nutrients that include calcium, iron, folic acid, and many vitamins and minerals.
Types of Lentils
Lentils are sold both canned and dried. While canned lentils can be used for quick salads or side dishes, dried ones are more suitable for soups and stews.
1. Brown Lentils
Brown lentils are the most common variety. Their color usually ranges from khaki brown to dark black, and come with a mildly earthy taste.
Brown lentils easily maintain a good shape during cooking and are suitable for hot casseroles, soups, and stews. They also work well in vegetarian burgers or vegetarian patties.
Brown lentils are like the all-purpose legume. They are commonly used in North America as either a main ingredient or thickening agent.
2. Red Lentils
Generally, the color of red lentils ranges from golden yellow to orange and red. These slightly sweet and nutty legumes are common in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine such as daal.
Due to their “split” nature, this type of lentil disintegrates during cooking. When the skin of the red lentils cracks, it quickly decomposes and becomes a paste.
This is how they’re used as a thickener in soups, pureed vegetables, stews, casseroles, or any other puree dishes. Whenever you want a thick, soothing paste, red lentils will be a perfect choice.
3. Green Lentils
Green lentils are very similar to brown lentils, but have a more intense taste. They vary in size and color, ranging from light or spotted green to green slate with hints of blue and black.
Like red lentils, green lentils tend to split and fall apart when cooked. They are known for the best texture and flavor of all the lentils, which make them the most expensive.
Because of their peppery taste, green lentils are particularly effective in salads, or can be used as a warm side. Among the lentil varieties, green lentils take the longest to cook (about 45 minutes).
Usually, a bowl of dried lentils equals about two and a half cups cooked. Don’t skip rinsing and sieving the lentils before cooking, or else small stones or crumbs might not be removed completely.
If you like a lighter-tasting soup, consider using chicken or turkey smoked sausage, or kielbasa. To make it more economical, use leftover diced ham instead of sausage.
For a vegetarian soup, skip the sausage and use salt-free vegetable soup. If you need greater depth, adding a spoonful of white miso will help.
Spinach starts losing its bright color after exposure to room temperature. So, it’s best to add it to the soup in the last minutes to maintain its color.
Recipes Similar to This Lentil Soup with Spinach and Sausage
Yes, this lentil soup with spinach and sausage can promote weight loss.
Lentils have both soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as complex carbohydrates, which can release glucose slowly and stably. The glycerol blending index of lentils is very low, only 32±5, which is an excellent aid for weight loss.
2. Is This Soup Gluten-Free?
Yes, this lentil soup with spinach and sausage is gluten-free.
3. How Long Does It Last?
Lentil soup with spinach and sausage is suitable for meal prep. You can easily make the soup in advance and save it for the next lunch.
Simply store the leftovers in a container, seal it tightly, and put it in the fridge. Microwave it to reheat whenever you’re ready to serve again.
4. Can You Freeze It?
Yes, lentil soup can be frozen. This recipe produces servings for four, so you can store smaller portions of it in the fridge for later consumption.
As sausages can freeze well, you can also consider using half of the sausage first, and save the other half to cook a fresh batch of soup later.
This lentil soup with spinach and sausage recipe produces servings for four, so you can store smaller portions of it in the fridge for later use. As sausages can freeze well, you can also consider use half of the sausage first and save half to cook a fresh batch of soup later.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
I just cooked this delicious lentil soup! It was so flavorful and comforting - a must-try!