I did my senior year of high school in Germany, junior year of college in Austria and lived with my husband for a while in Germany. I know German food, I love German food! This time of year a good hearty lentil soup is heavenly.
So what makes this lentil soup German? Linsensuppe or Eintopf (that would be lentil soup in German!) has sausage in it. The Germans eat a large amount of pork. You might have a problem eating there if you don’t eat pork! That being said there are so many delicious sausages and a nice smoked one really flavors lentil soup well. If you wanted to get wild a couple strips of bacon would be great in here too.
This soup also has a few other ingredients that aren’t necessarily typical in an American lentil soup. What goes with sausage? Mustard of course! I know it sounds strange in a soup perhaps, but it really does taste great. I also added potatoes and in Germany that means some vinegar too.
Now if you are a vegetarian you could certainly skip the pork and use either water or a vegetable broth. It would still be delicious. I used a homemade chicken stock. One of my “intentions” this year is to be better about making stock instead of using store bought. Notice I didn’t use that word “resolution”?! Hey, I succeeded on that intention so far!
This soup goes well with some good crusty bread. Wait, that is another “intention” this year, make more of our bread from scratch. I found a method that works well for me and the result is a fantastically crispy crust and soft center. Grab a bowl, slice of bread and stay warm. The best part, this is healthy with so many nutrients, low in fat and high in fiber.
German Lentil Soup
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, diced
2 medium potatoes, chopped
1 lb. brown lentils
10 c. chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp. German mustard (Dijon would also probably work well)
12 oz. Kielbasa, sliced
2 Tbs. vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots and potatoes and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the lentils, stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, add salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about half an hour. Add the mustard, stir and cook for another half an hour.
At this time the lentils should be cooked through and you can add the sausage and vinegar. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, the sausage just needs to heat through. If desired you could add a splash of vinegar to each bowl after you ladle in the soup.
Yields: 8-10 servings
we had a ham lentil soup last night–yum. Hoping I can pick your brain a bit re: German food. My daughter is in her second year of German classes at school and we’ve invited an exchange student over for dinner in a few Saturdays. Turns out she’s vegetarian (no sausages for her) and I’d love to make something sort of familiar for her. Any ideas? Can’t be too crazy as there will also be young kids at the table–from her host family and also my 8- and 12-year-old.
Your soup looks perfect for the season.
Good question! Vegetarian German, not too common. Spaetzle is a great homemade noodle (though many stores sell it too). It is frequently served with schnitzel or another meat, but is also good as a casserole kind of like mac and cheese. Cook up the noodles and layer them in a greased casserole dish with shredded cheese (emmental or smoked Gouda are good among others) and sautéed veggies like mushrooms and onions. Bake until melted and bubbly. Red cabbage is also nice. Any type of potato dish would be good too. Another dish I liked, perhaps starving college student but still nummy, cooked pasta sautéed with veggies of choice and cheese melted on top (good with pieces of sausage too for non vegetarians). Hope this helps, I’ll see if I can think of anything else.
Wow lentil soup is new to me.. I should try this.. Looks yummy
Thanks! It is quite tasty, especially in cooler weather. Lentil soup is pretty common in the States, Canada and many European countries. It is one of those recipes with endless variations!
MMM I love lentil soup, looks delicious and it is good for you!! I remember as a child my grandmother would make this soup! Brings back great memories each time I eat it 🙂
I love it when food brings back wonderful memories, isn’t it great?!
Gretchen I love this, I am so making this next week, I still have some good Kielbasa in my freezer that I bought when I was in Chicago from a good Polish Sausage Shop!! yum!!!! Cheers!!! 🙂
Oh yum, sausage from Chicago! I grew up in Milwaukee and we had great local sausages there too. I hope you enjoy it next week.
I love lentils, but I forget about them sometimes! This sounds so flavorful, my family would love! BTW – that bread looks amazing!
Thanks! I like lentil soups in the winter and lentils salads in the warmer weather. It’s hard to beat for a high protein, high fiber and inexpensive food! As for the bread, thanks! I recently found a new recipe I love and it bakes very well in my cast iron Dutch oven.
I love the flavors of your German soup, especially the lentils. It looks so hearty and delicious!
Thanks Shanna. I enjoy a good hearty lentil soup as do the boys. Plus it makes for easy lunch packing by putting it in a thermos!
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I have some really close German friends. I love pork, totally, so I would absolutely blend in the German way of life, I suppose. The soup is pretty straightforward to make. Mustard, Kartoffel and the sausage sounds like a really good addition. I shall be trying this version of the soup. I made a lot of stock from left over turkey carcass. We already had our Thanksgiving. I am just going to use the last bottle of stock today. Have a wonderful weekend!
Homemade turkey stock would be awesome! This is one of my favorite fall and winter soups. We just had it recently. Everyone here loves it.