Lentil and Kale Soup With Chicken Sausage on a table in a Studio
(Rey Lopez for The Washington Post/Food styling by Marie Ostrosky for The Washington Post )
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Lentil and Kale Soup With Chicken Sausage

Quick-cooking lentils form the body of this soup, which is further enriched by nutritious kale. Use brown or green dried lentils for the quickest cooking time; smaller French du Puy lentils will take longer to cook. Chicken sausage adds flavor but can be left out to make the soup vegan.

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Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

From staff writer G. Daniela Galarza.


measuring cup
Servings: 4-6 (makes 8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 links (6 ounces) fully cooked chicken sausage, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 small yellow onion (5 ounces), diced
  • 2 small carrots (5 ounces total), diced
  • Fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 cups no-salt-added chicken or vegetable broth, or water
  • 1 cup dry brown or green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 cups (2 ounces) kale (any kind), stemmed and finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)


Time Icon Active: 20 mins| Total: 45 mins
  1. Step 1

    In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until it browns, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns translucent, about 4 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits as the vegetables release their moisture. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf and dried oregano.

  2. Step 2

    Add the broth or water, lentils, and another pinch of salt. Cover, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Partially uncover, and reduce the heat to maintain a lively simmer until the lentils are cooked and the flavors have melded, about 20 minutes. Taste to check that the lentils have fully cooked; if not, cook for 5 to 10 minutes more. Season with additional salt, if desired. Stir in the kale, allowing it to wilt, about 2 minutes. Season with a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat, ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the parsley, if using, and serve hot.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (1 1/3 cups)

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    28 g

  • Cholesterol

    26 mg

  • Fat

    9 g

  • Fiber

    11 g

  • Protein

    16 g

  • Saturated Fat

    2 g

  • Sodium

    320 mg

  • Sugar

    5 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From staff writer G. Daniela Galarza.

Tested by G. Daniela Galarza