2000s Recipes + Menus

Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage and Escarole

Serves6 to 8 (main course)
  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:45 min
October 2008
Nuggets of sausage give a little meatball action to this hearty, no-fuss soup chock-full of healthy escarole and lentils. Watch the cooks in The Test Kitchen taste this soup.
  • 1 2/3 cups lentils (11 oz), rinsed well
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 lb escarole, chopped (4 cups packed)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • Accompaniment:

  • Simmer lentils, water, broth, bay leaf, and half of garlic in a 4-qt pot, uncovered, 12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a wide heavy 5- to 6-qt pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown sausage, about 7 minutes. Transfer sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, carrots, celery, remaining garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add sausage and lentils with cooking liquid and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in escarole and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar to taste and season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.
Cooks’ note: We’ve also got a web-exclusive recipe using the leftover lentils.
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