What is easy, hearty, delicious, healthy and perfect for a cold winter night? Crockpot Italian Sausage & Lentil Soup! Fire up the crockpot, and make one batch on Sunday and have a wonderful lunch and dinner for days! This is a classic, simple version of an Italian comfort food. Nothing fancy. Add some shaved Parmesan cheese, a crusty baguette, a nice glass of Chianti for a wonderful meal.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 8hours
Total Time 8hours20minutes
1pound4-5 links mild Italian sausage
1large sweet oniondiced
3celery stalks with leavesdiced
16ounces2 cups cups green lentils
114 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
½teaspoonred pepper flakesor to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Slice each sausage link lengthwise, remove the casing and cut into ½ inch, bite-size pieces.
Heat a large skillet on the stovetop over medium high heat. Add the sausage and sear the outside until starting to brown and caramelize. The inside will still be pink but that is acceptable since the sausage will continue cooking in the crockpot. Transfer the sausage to a plate and set aside. If needed, chop any large pieces into smaller bite-size pieces.
Add the olive oil and onion to the hot skillet. Cook the onion over medium high heat until turning transparent. Add the garlic, red and black pepper, and continue cooking for one more minute or until the garlic is fragrant.
Transfer the sausage and onion & garlic mixture to the crockpot. Add salt, lentils, celery, carrots, chicken stock, canned tomatoes, bay leaf, fennel seeds, and rosemary. Cover and turn crockpot to high for 4 to 6 hours, or 8-10 hours on low. Add more chicken stock if the soup gets too thick. Stir occasionally. Serve soup with crusty bread and shaved parmesan cheese.