Polish Sausage Lentil Soup
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It was a cold, foggy, day yesterday. I think cold dreary days are perfect days for soup. Last night we had Polish Sausage Lentil soup and it hit the spot. I especially love that this soup is so easy and so versatile. You can make it on the stove, in the crock pot, a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot. The prep is not too time consuming. The cooking takes a little longer, but you can let it cook while you walk away for a while.
Lentils are very filling and also good for you. They are low calorie, high nutrient, very satisfying, and easy to cook. I’m trying to add more of this super food to our family’s diet. If you are wanting a plant based, vegetarian, or vegan meal, you can omit the meat and it is still a delicious soup, but you might want to use broth for half of the water or add more salt.
Polish Sausage Lentil Soup
This lentil soup is delicious, especially on a cold day. The sausage and bacon really add to the flavor of the soup. But if you want a completely vegan version of the soup, omit the meat and add a little more salt. If you use sausage, be careful to choose a sausage that is free of your allergens. Many brands of sausage contain unexpected allergens. We use Hillshire Farms Beef Polska Kielbasa.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound green lentils (sorted and rinsed)
- 7 cups water
- 2 (15 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
- 12 ounces cooked Polish sausage, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- 8 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instant Pot (Total Time: 30-45 min)
On an 8 qt Instant Pot, press SAUTE. When display says HOT, add oil, carrots, onions, and celery. Cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.
Add lentils, water, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, pepper, sausage, and bacon. Stir. Close lid.
Push Keep Warm/CANCEL. Then push MANUAL and +/- until you see 15 minutes on the screen. When the time is finished, turn the valve on the top to release pressure. When the pressure is released, open top and serve.
Slow Cooker (Total Time: 8 Hours)
Add all ingredients except olive oil (not needed) to a 4 qt slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 6 hours or until lentils are soft.
Stove Top (Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes)
In a large pot, heat lentils with water, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper until boiling.
Reduce heat. Cut sausage in 1/2 inch pieces and add to pot. Cover and simmer.
While lentils are cooking, heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil, onion, carrots, and celery to the skillet (if using uncooked bacon, omit the oil and cook the bacon in the skillet first and reserve 1 TBS of the fat to cook the vegetables). Cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.
Add vegetables to lentils and continue cooking 30-45 minutes. Add more water if the soup becomes too thick.
This is a big recipe so it will either feed a crowd or leave you with a quite a few left overs. You can cut the recipe in half for a smaller batch. If you want leftovers, keep in mind that you will need to add some water when you reheat it because the lentils will soak up quite a bit of liquid when they are in the fridge.
If you want to make this recipe even faster, consider using a food processor to chop your onions, celery and carrots in the same bowl. This is also a great idea if you have kids (or adults!) who are picky about eating vegetables. You can chop up the veggies in small enough pieces that they aren't noticeable in the soup.
If you have someone who is picky about tomato chunks in soup (like my kids sometimes are), use a blender or food processor to chop up the tomatoes into small enough pieces, they won't notice them. I'm all about sneaking in the vegetables!