Christina Clark 10 min. 20 min.

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This is my new FAVORITE soup!! I really love soup in general, mostly because it’s so easy to make a satisfying, delicious soup without meat. But this soup is the bomb!

My husband took me to Carrabba’s Italian Grill for Valentine’s Day. He asked the server for the best soup, and she said it was their lentil soup with sausage. My first thought on tasting the soup was “Wow, this is excellent!” But my second thought was, “I can make this soup, and I can do it without actually using sausage!”

Friends, I have accomplished my goal. We both agree that this soup is every bit as good as the soup we had at Carrabba’s, but it has no sausage in it!

Now, my husband did say he kind of missed the pieces of meat. I’m going to be honest: there is nothing with a meat-like texture in this soup, since I don’t believe in using fake-meat products. But the broth might fool anybody. I researched the spices used in making various types of sausage, created my own soup-appropriate version (with much less salt!), and seasoned the vegetables as if I were making sausage. I also chose to saute the onions and garlic in some butter instead of just olive oil, since the saturated fat is part of what gives the soup its sausage-y flavor. One important note for making this recipe: the fennel seeds are the most important seasoning in this soup. If you leave out the fennel, you will be disappointed!

This soup is moderately spicy, so you can cut down on the red pepper flakes if you are sensitive to heat. I wanted the flavor to mimic hot Italian sausage, and it wouldn’t be the same without that spicy heat. I hope you like it as much as I do!

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Sausage-Seasoned Lentil Soup

Serves 4

1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots
14 oz can Italian stewed tomatoes
2 cans (or 3-1/2 cups) cooked lentils
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp red wine vinegar


Measure the spices into a small bowl and set aside. Chop the onion. Smash, peel, and mince the garlic. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, scrub and grate the carrots. When the onions are mostly cooked, add the carrots and spices. Saute for about 2 more minutes.


Add the stewed tomatoes. Rinse and drain the lentils and add them along with the broth. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley if you want it to look pretty. 🙂
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