Rustic Sausage Lentil Stew

Rustic Sausage Lentil Stew

This week our toddler Madeline added the word 'brrr' (accompanied by exaggerated shivers) to her vocabulary. What frigid chill inspired this? When we got up yesterday morning in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, it was 69 °F (21 °C)...serious cold in her Caribbean world. In the spirit of enjoying this cooler weather, Rebecca requested a hearty lentil stew with the local sausage we had on hand. This Rustic Sausage Lentil Stew is straightforward to make and easy to adapt. This stew avoids the thick heaviness of many traditional lentil stews by using green French lentils that remain whole and al dente during cooking. While hearty, the stew is surprisingly light and bright. 

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Yield: serves 4


  • 1/2 pound sausage (we used a local smoked kielbasa style sausage), cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, medium diced
  • 1 head garlic (about 9 cloves), minced
  • 4 medium tomatoes, medium diced
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth (low salt)
  • 1 cup green French lentils
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Add the sausage and oil to a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is well browned (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the onions, and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and just beginning to brown (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has mostly boiled off (5-10 minutes).
  5. Add the remaining ingredients (broth, lentils, and bay leaves), and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 25 minutes (until the lentils are tender but not falling apart).
  6. Taste and add salt if necessary (saltiness will vary significantly based on the sausage and broth used). Serve immediately, or this stew also keeps well as a leftover. We like to serve ours with pickled onions.