Weekend Projects & Red Lentil Soup with Sausage, Spinach and Balsamic Onions

Red Lentil Soup with Balsamic Onions

I spent the weekend before last (good to see I’ve been on the up and up in posting – sorry!) trying to finish my never ending list of “projects” at my apartment. On the to-do list was picture hanging, closet re-organizing, reupholstering barstools, re-vamping my bookshelves, and buying more flowers and plants for my deck.

Want to know what I accomplished off of that list? Buying and potting the plants for my deck. That’s it. And I think I realized why. Almost all the other tasks were “re”-tasks…reupholstering, reorganizing, revamping. Revisiting things that are already kind of in place and in existence. When choosing between things that are already somewhat done and functioning okay, versus watching Mad Men… well. A trip to Lowes for flower shopping and potting the new flowers was all that actually won.

Red Lentil Soup with Balsamic Onions

So far I have the hydrangea I’d been planning on getting, a Hibsiscus plant, a tomato plant, petunias and a peony. I have a hanging basket over the railing that I want to fill with herbs and lettuces. I can’t wait to share my set up once it’s done. I miss my garden, but apartment living this year at least affords me a container garden. Though my to-do list is still rattling in my brain, at least I can take some time to sit out on the deck and plan tackling those projects surrounded by pretty things!

Red Lentil Soup with Balsamic Onions

In the meantime, I highly recommend this soup. I had a package of lentils I’d picked up on a whim at Trader Joes. I wasn’t sure what to do with them and a google search brought me to this recipe from Fitness Magazine. I have to tell you, the balsamic caramelized onions that you put in the individual bowls at the end absolutely makes this soup something amazing. I think it’s just light enough for spring and so delicious!Red Lentil Soup with Balsamic Onions


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 9 ounces lean sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 5 cups spinach leaves, loosely packed
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add half the onion and saute until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the balsamic vinegar. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside.

Warm the remaining olive oil. Add the sausage, remaining onion, celery and thyme and saute over medium-high heat, breaking up sausage, until onion is translucent and sausage begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and lentils.

Add the chicken stock, tomatoes and their juice, bay leaf, garlic and paprika and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until rice and lentils are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove and discard garlic and bay leaf.

Stir in the spinach until wilted. Season to taste with black pepper and remaining balsamic vinegar. Ladle into bowls and top with onions; serve.

NUTRITION INFORMATION:  Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 413, Fat, total (g) 12, sat. fat (g) 2, carb. (g) 50, fiber (g) 14, pro. (g) 28, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Original Recipe: http://www.recipe.com/red-lentil-soup-with-sausage-spinach-and-balsamic-onions/


11 thoughts on “Weekend Projects & Red Lentil Soup with Sausage, Spinach and Balsamic Onions

  1. I’m going to use my turkey sausage and try this recipe next week! It is perfect because my sister is visiting in July and she can’t have dairy so I’ve been trying to make a dairy free meal list. This looks so much better than a can of progresso! Thank you!

  2. Oh, I know that would still work just as well! I’m so glad you’ll be having it, and I hope you both find it as good as I did! And really, make some extra caramelized onions to go in at the end, they are so, so perfect.

  3. Found your post through the LinkUp via Peeled Wellness. This recipe looks fantastic! I’ve had a whole bunch of lentils I have been holding on to for a while now just waiting for the perfect recipe. Looks like this may be it! Pinning for later. Cheers! :-)

    1. So glad you found your way here!! I was the same way- I had a ton of lentils that I had picked up thinking, “these have to be healthy”, and then had no idea what to do with them. They were really good, and the texture was great with everything else in the soup mixed in :) I hope you’ll get to try it!

      1. That sounds lovely! The weather here in Portland was sunny and bright just a few days back and is stormy and rainy now. Perfect lentil soup weather! :-)

  4. Looks delicious! I am going to try it with some soya sausages for the weekend. I imagine the caramelized onions are great with this dish. Thank you for a beautiful and inspiring blog. It’s nice to read about the southern life!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s