RECIPE: French Lentil Soup with Local Sausage

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Finding favorite local sausages at Martha’s Vineyard farms during winter months.

We’ve found a number of the local farms make their own sausages and each has its own delicious specialties. Grey Barn’s chorizo sausage beefs up this lentil soup with added spiciness and depth. With French lentils, vegetables, spinach, and ground sausage, it makes a satisfying meal.

Also in March, the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society holds its annual celebration of Island-raised meat with raffles and more.

For more local sausage recipes, try this Baked Ziti.

French Lentil Soup with Grey Barn Chorizo

Serves 4 to 6

This lentil soup uses the French green lentils  called lentils de Puy which are smaller than the brown lentils, cook quicker and hold their shape. I created it using mildly spicy chorizo sausage from The Grey Barn in Chilmark. With protein from lentils and sausage plus vegetables and spinach, it’s a complete meal – with leftovers. Recipe by Catherine Walthers

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 pound your favorite sausage (I use Grey Barn chorizo), removed from casing

1 onion, diced small
1 whole leek, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed and sliced crosswise
2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup red or white wine (optional)

2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or sprigs of fresh 

8 cups water

1 cup French green lentils (de Puy), picked through and rinsed
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices1 container (5 oz) baby spinach
Salt + Pepper to taste

1. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, sauté the onions in the oil over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the leek and garlic and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the wine and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.

2. Add carrots, celery, thyme, water, and lentils. Bring to a boil,
then simmer, partially covered until lentils are nearly tender, about 20 minutes. While soup is cooking, cook the sausage in a skillet, breaking it up as you go. Set aside.

3. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer another 10 minutes, or until lentils are fully cooked. Adjust seasonings, add sausage and spinach and simmer for an additional few minutes until spinach is wilted.

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Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers, Bluedot’s food editor, is a Martha’s Vineyard-based writer, culinary instructor, and private chef. A former journalist, she is the author of 4 cookbooks, including Kale, Glorious Kale, Soups + Sides, and Raising the Salad Bar. She wrote an environmental guidebook called A Greener Boston published by Chronicle Books in 1992. Follow her on Instagram @catherine_walthers.

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