Lentil & Sausage Soup

I’ve yet to blog about what I’m up to, eating wise, but this offers a clue. I’m literally on my last weird experiment—I hope—and it involves beans / legumes, but prepared in traditional ways (a 24-hour soak). The resistant starch via potato starch supplementation is no longer an experiment but a way of life now. More on that later too.

In general on beans: mixed results fartage-wise, but sure tasty, filling, and damn satiating when part of regular meals. Other than fartage, no issues such as heartburn, bloating or going comatose (I keep portions reasonable in size).

Perhaps my very favorite legume is lentils (followed closely by chickpeas, particularly cold, as a salad topping), so here’s an application that I cooked Tuesday afternoon to basically serve us all week long.

I used this recipe from Food Network almost to the letter: Lentil Sausage Soup, by Ina Garten. It is really awesome. More effort than I usually do because I like really simple, but worth it.

Here’s what I changed, which on large is pretty immaterial:

  1. The lentil soak in initially boiling water went for about an hour vs 15 minutes (time to do everything else). Definitely gets that soaking action going as the water was a pretty dark brown on draining.
  2. A bit more salt (125%)
  3. 150% on the black pepper
  4. Twice as much cumin (2 teaspoons vs. 1)
  5. More fresh garlic (perhaps 150% of the recipe)
  6. Twice as much tomato paste. I added the 2nd half at the end, after tasting. I had debated using 1 can of chopped tomatoes instead of paste (my normal method when creating a recipe) but went with the paste. Tomato is such a powerful force to transform and bring out flavors in soups and stews. Never overlook it.
  7. Kitchen Basics stock is so basic in ingredients, tastes so rich even before reducing, and has 5g of protein per cup…that I really don’t bother with the time & expense of making my own bases, anymore. I can boil anything I want in it to start, including bones.
  8. I let the all beef Polska Kielbasa cook for about half the time, instead of a warm up at the end. Standard practice for me in other dishes
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A Big Pot Lasts All Week

I can’t even describe how good it is and how the cumin and tomato peek through, along with the very rich, reduced broth. This is the standard by which all comfort food should measured—lentil soup with vegetables and meat in a reduced beef or chicken broth. I’ve always basically loved all meaty preparations of lentils.

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Guess what? If you likee lots & lots, it’s an easy breakfast too. Less broth, nuke it for a bit and toss on some eggs fried in butter. Duh…with a spoon, of course.

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Yea. Yep.

I’d tell you how good that was if I could. That’s the thing about wholesome, extreme comfort food. You can’t actually explicate how good it is.

And you know what, both meals just sat there and digested just fine, your best clue that you’re on the right track.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Lentil & Sausage Soup | Paleo Digest on May 30, 2013 at 13:51

    […] The Animal / Posted on: May 30, 2013 Free The Animal – I’ve yet to blog about what I’m up to, eating wise, but this offers a clue. […]

  2. tatertot on May 30, 2013 at 14:14

    I rarely cuss on here, but this deserves an exception…FUCK, DUDE! That looks awesome!

    I have been eating homemade chili a lot recently, this stuff blows my chili away by a mile! I have been eating my chili poured over cubed and golden-fried-in-butter plantains. I know what I’m making this weekend…

  3. Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2013 at 15:43

    Here’s your chili link, tater:

  4. Joseph Fetz on May 30, 2013 at 16:13

    Darnit, that looks absolutely delicious. Too bad I have G6PDD, lentils really mess me up for a day or two. Pretty much all legumes mess me up, but lentils (and broad beans) can have me in a deep sleep for about 30 hours.

  5. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on May 30, 2013 at 21:08

    looks yummy. wil try it.
    i like yellow or orange lentil better tho.

    i know that traditional method (long soak) take care of the gas problem.
    but is short soak in boling water the same as long soak?

  6. marie on May 30, 2013 at 21:10

    Nice touch with the Greek-key bowls, but then apart from the Kielbasa, yup, that’s a pretty traditional Greek recipe there. For authenticity maybe try using lamb broiled to pink inside, then cut up and finished cooking in the lentil soup for last 15′ on simmer (and don’t forget to pour-in some of the lamb fat from the broil pan)…. or just because the lamb flavor Really matches that recipe even better, not that I’m biased or anything! 😉

  7. Raphael S on May 31, 2013 at 02:36

    Looks delicious!

    What would you expect digestion wise for the same recipe without traditional preparation in your case? Have you tested this?

    Also, as saponins aren’t degraded through cooking, isn’t there a plausible mechanism suggesting that they can in fact have negative effects, but might not be acute or obvious like indigestion from unprepared legumes)?

  8. Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2013 at 06:25

    Regarding the digestion issues, lentils don’t seem to bother me as much as other beans anyway, so not sure how the quick soak is different from the traditional whole day. There was certainly something going on because the water was pretty brown. Plus I find a huge dose element. If I have a small portion, like 1/2 cup or so of pinto beans my mother-in-law fixes (she does not soak) for breakfast with some eggs, bacon & fruit I never notice anything adverse.

    However, if I make pintos soaked overnight and then have a large plate of them (like 2 cups worth) I’ll have bloating and massive gas anyway. My conclusion is just like with a lot of things, dose makes the poison.

    It’s similar with grains. If I go a long time with none, a couple slices of pizza at a party has no adverse effect. But if I’ve been regularly off the reservation for days on end like on a vacation, then every ounce of grains gives me heartburn.

  9. Nick Lo on May 31, 2013 at 18:06

    If you’re moving onto a legume experiment I’m interested in whether you, or any of your readers, have had your appendix removed? Mine was removed as a kid and going on the current theory that it’s a little storehouse of composting bacteria, I’ve often wondered if that leaves me ill-equipped to deal with the heavy-duty composting that, e.g., legumes, require.

  10. Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2013 at 19:12

    Nope, still have mine.

  11. Jackie on June 1, 2013 at 09:05

    I HIGHLY recommend Nigella’s yellow split pea and frankfurter soup, which I usually make with Puy lentils instead of the peas. It’s off the charts wonderful.

  12. el-bo on June 1, 2013 at 12:20

    saw this yesterday and have been jonesing for something similar ever since…sausage and beans, spanish style…have the chorizo, buying the chick peas tomorrow 🙂

  13. […] I made my Lentil & Sausage Soup about a month ago and ended up with quite a bit of leftover celery carrot, onion, etc. I tossed 'em […]

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