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Sausage Lentil Rice Soup

For vegetarians, simply eliminate the sausage and use vegetable stock. You can also add more rice and lentils (maybe 1/4 cup of each) to help replace some of the bulk of the sausage.
Servings 6 -8 Servings


For soup:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage bulk or removed from casing
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 cups chicken broth I use low sodium organic
  • 1 cup brown lentils rinsed
  • 1 cup brown rice (uncooked regular, not instant or quick cooking)
  • 10-12 ounces fresh baby spinach

For topping:

  • fresh chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly grated Locatelli Romano cheese


  1. Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and fennel. Cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the raw sausage and cook over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the sausage until browned.
  4. Add the bay leaves and chicken broth.
  5. Cover and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the lentils and rice.
  6. Simmer uncovered until the lentils and rice are cooked. This could take 20-30 minutes. Just check for desired tenderness at 20 minutes and add time as needed.
  7. Skim off any foam or extra fat that collects on the surface.
  8. Remove bay leaves and add the spinach during the last 5 minutes of cooking. It will look like a lot of spinach, but will wilt quickly as you stir it into the hot soup.
  9. Sprinkle each serving with fresh basil and romano cheese.

Recipe Notes

*The original recipe called for only 1/2 pound of sausage, but I always had leftover, so I would just add it in. It makes for a heartier soup, which we love, but you can use half the amount if you prefer.

*I use a low sodium chicken broth and usually add in about a teaspoon of salt. If you don't use low sodium, you may not need any extra salt. Always taste before seasoning. The cheese topping will also add a salty bite.

*I use two bags of baby spinach...they're usually 6 ounces each. If I have extra, I'll add that in as well. It wilts down and extra veggies are always good.

Recipe from my sister, Jennifer

The Merchant Baker © 2015