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Fire up your slow cooker or crock pot – it’s time for some amazing soup! My Sausage and Lentil Soup is the perfect way to warm up after a cold day. Loaded with lentils, vegetables and delicious, savory sausage, this soup will hit the spot!
Now that fall weather is here in full force, there is something about my cooking that goes into winter survival mode. Perhaps it’s my Scandinavian heritage that is kicking in. I come from very hearty stock of strong, hard working women. My mother, and grandmothers before me really know how to make an amazing pot of soup, as this seems to be an especially wonderful meal that will always nourish our bodies and warm our souls.
Both my husband and I were born and raised in South Dakota. He is from German and Czech heritage, and I am from Scandinavian, German and Czech (or as my grandma would call us, ol’ Bohunk folks!) Being from South Dakota, you begin to learn at a very early age that surviving the harsh winters is critical, and having hot, hearty meals on hand is essential for that survival. This Slow Cooker Sausage and Lentil Soup is one of those meals that many from back home would even consider as a great Oktoberfest type of dish, celebrating German heritage.
Since we now live in suburban Washington, D.C., we don’t have as harsh of winters, yet, both my husband and I still really crave those hearty, soul-warming soups that we grew up with. Last week I stopped at my local Walmart to pick up some Hillshire Farm® Rope Sausage and Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa along with carrots, celery, onion and lentils to have an Oktoberfest meal to take us back to our German roots.
Hillshire Farm® Rope Sausage or Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa are such a great addition to your fall and winter soups and stews. My husband also loves to grill up this sausage and pair it with sauerkraut and onion for the fantastic traditional German dish!
Preparing this soup couldn’t be easier! I love making this soup for a busy day – getting all of the ingredients chopped and ready to go before I leave the house in the morning. I then get everything into my slow cooker, set it on low for about 7-8 hours, and when we come back home after a busy day, there is an amazing meal waiting for us!
Just before serving the soup, I remove the sausage from the slow cooker, and slice it up. I then get it back into the soup, along with the juices from the sausage, and let it simmer for about 30 more minutes. The results are an amazing, hearty, delicious soup that’s perfect on a cold evening!
I used a combination of red and yellow (split pea) lentils, but use whatever is available or what you and your family will prefer. The lentils give the soup a great, hearty texture and pair wonderfully with the savory sausage!
Every bite of this soup is wonderfully satisfying! Maybe think about making extra, as it’s also a great soup to reheat for lunches the next day!
Here’s how this easy, delicious soup comes together:
- 1 (14 oz.) ring, Hillshire Farm® Rope Sausage or Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa
- 1 (32 oz.) carton, beef broth
- 1 1/2 c. lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 c. (about 1/2 of a large) sweet red pepper, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- chopped parsley for garnish, if desired
- In a medium or large slow cooker, add the broth, lentils, red pepper, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the whole sausage ring to the top of the broth and vegetables. Set slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3 1/2 -4 hours.
- Approximately 30 minutes before soup is done, pull out the sausage, and slice into bite-sized pieces, and add back to the soup along with any juices that run from the sausage. Let the soup cook for the remaining 30 minutes.
- Serve into bowls right away, and top with chopped parsley, if desired. Enjoy!
I used a combination (3/4 c. red lentils and 3/4 c. yellow split pea lentils), however feel free to use a combination of your preference.
I hope this soup inspires you to go back to your heritage and cook up something satisfying and soul-warming. It’s the perfect way to survive the harshest of winters! Enjoy! ~Erin
Do you have a favorite way to enjoy Hillshire Farm® Rope Sausage or Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa? Leave me a comment, as I would love to hear what you and your family enjoy during these cold fall and winter months.