Kielbasa, Kale and Lentil Soup

I feel like so many of my recipes are developed out of a need to use ingredients in the fridge or pantry that are close to “the end”. But I suppose that is good motivation to get cooking. In this case, I had some polish kielbasa that was purchased with that wonderful reduced sticker on the outside. These stickers are wonderful until I end with up all kinds of things clogging up my fridge and/or freezer! I also had half a bag of kale left from my Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup. It seems to me that kale is a wonderful thing in soup so I went for it, but this time my goal was to make something a little more healthy. Not that the first soup didn’t have all sorts of wonderful things in it, but it also had a good serving of heavy cream mixed in! So the goal this time: make a healthy and tasty soup with kale and kielbasa. But I felt I needed something else to beef up this soup a bit and I didn’t want to resort to potato again so I decided to add in some dried lentils. And why not build a delicious flavor base with the traditional mirepoix of onion, carrot and celery? A splash of good balsamic vinegar at the end brought some acid to the soup which brightened the whole thing up (you can add this to taste- start with a little and add more if you like).


This is a fairly thick soup but I don’t know that it qualifies as a stew which I think is defined as “a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy”. So that’s not what happened here so I will stick with calling this a soup which is defined as “a primarily liquid food, generally served warm, that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid”. So I don’t know if this is primarily liquid but close enough!


Kielbasa, Kale and Lentil Soup


  • ½ lb. kielbasa, cut into half lengthwise and then into half moons
  • Olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped into a small dice
  • 2 peeled carrots, chopped into a small dice
  • 1 stalk celery (with leaves), chopped into a small dice
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • 1 cup. Lentils, washed thoroughly
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 tsp. fresh, chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 cups kale, washed, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. good quality balsamic vinegar
  • Grated parmesan to garnish, optional


  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp. of olive oil in it
  • Sear your cut kielbasa in the oil, stirring occasionally, until it has a nice brown crust
  • Remove kielbasa with a slotted spoon- there should be about 1 tbsp. of oil remaining, if not, add more



  • Reduce heat to medium and add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and fragrant



  • Stir in the seasoning, the tomatoes (do NOT drain the juices) and the broth



  • Bring to a simmer and stir in the lentils
  • Return to a simmer, lower the heat and cover
  • Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are softened
  • Return kielbasa to the pot and stir in the kale
  • Cook until kale is cooked down, about 10 more minutes
  • Stir in the vinegar and serve with a drizzle of olive oil or grated Parmesan on top, if desired
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more vinegar if desired (it acts to “brighten” the soup up a bit)





18 responses to “Kielbasa, Kale and Lentil Soup

  1. Made the potato and kale soup. Now I’ll have to make this one. I’m really in a soup mood these days. Guess I’ll have to get back to the store for the kielbasa though. I’ve used up all of my sausage — or on second hand, I should check out the big freezer. I may have some in there. And I do have kale left over. Still have huge amount of cabbage to do something with too. Probably blanch it and freeze most, dehydrate some. I’m getting “tar’d” again.

    • How did the potato kale soup turn out for you? I too have been in a soup mood- but then again it’s so cold here in buffalo now! We’re supposed to get snow here tomorrow! Booo!

      • You can keep your snow. It’s cold enough here in KY with just the wind. The soup is sooo good, especially when I’m freezing half to death because I have this thing about turning the heat on. I’ve lived here 11 years and take pride in the fact that I’ve never had to turn it on, and I’m too stubborn to change that now. So I’m wearing my long johns, heavy sweats, extra blankets, and still shivering, but have yet to swallow my pride and turn up the thermostat. May change soon though.

      • LOL! Well I can’t pass too much judgment on that as I refused to turn the heat on here before Nov. out of principal alone even though it got quite cold this year even before then. Glad you liked the soup! Keep warm

  2. Pingback: Creamy Vegetable Soup with Butter Sautéed Mushrooms | Yummyfoodmadeeasy·

  3. I love kale, kielbasa and lentils! Having all three together sounds delicious!! You need to write a cook book sweetie and get paid for your awesome recipes!! Happy Thanksgiving wishes! Hugz Lisa and Bear

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