This Autumn Vegetable Soup is truly comfort in a bowl! It's full of more veggies than you can count on both hands, hearty sausage, and green lentils. It will warm you inside and out all through fall and winter.
I'm not the biggest fan of cold weather. One thing I always look forward to as autumn and winter approach is soup season. It nearly justifies the frozen extremities. I tend to make a lot of soup throughout the colder seasons.
Although I enjoy trying new recipes, every fall I inevitably return to some of my favorites. Since the very first time I made this Autumn Vegetable Soup, it has skyrocketed to the top of my favorites list.
Ingredients in Autumn Vegetable Soup
There are many ingredients in this deliciously complex soup. At first glance, the laundry list of ingredients can seem daunting. You will definitely have to hit up the grocery store or farmers' market for this one.
It features a variety of vegetables including butternut squash, carrot, parsnip, turnip, potato, leek, and more. It also includes a beautiful blend of spices that really elevates this otherwise humble soup. Curry powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and paprika are just a few of the spices you'll need.
I actually use turkey or chicken sausage instead of pork sausage just to lighten it up a bit. The soup is considerably healthy once you make that adjustment, and you lose nothing in terms of flavor. For a fraction of the calories, you have a hearty, healthy soup that pleases the pickiest palates. You'll also need green lentils for this recipe. I recommend using good quality French green lentils. They cook beautifully in this soup without falling apart or getting mushy.
This soup is easily one of the best soups I've ever made. Hands down. Between the myriad of colorful vegetables and the intensely seasoned broth, it's truly an outstanding example of why autumn is one of my favorite seasons.
Since the first time making this soup, I have made it many times. My entire family loves it, as do my young nephews. This Autumn Vegetable Soup freezes beautifully. I recommend doubling the recipe if you are so inclined, and freezing some for lazy winter days ahead.
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What is your ultimate comforting soup for cold days? Share your thoughts in the comments, and don't forget to rate this recipe and share it! Thank you!
Autumn Vegetable Soup with Sausage and Green Lentils
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 ounces (225 grams) sweet Italian sausage (I use sweet chicken or turkey sausage)
- 1 medium onion cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves smashed and minced
- 1 large carrot peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 celery stalks cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds finely chopped or ground (I omit this)
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 small potato peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 large parsnip peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 large leek white and tender green parts, well rinsed and chopped
- 7 or 8 button mushrooms wiped clean and halved (I use cremini mushrooms)
- 1 small turnip peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- ¼ small butternut squash peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (I use almost ½ a small butternut squash)
- 2 quarts vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
- 1 cup (130 grams) canned “no salt added” crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup (135 grams) green lentils, rinsed
- 2 cups (85 grams) packed chopped winter greens, such as escarole, kale, or Swiss chard
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Split the casing on each sausage, break up the meat into large pieces, and add the pieces to the pot. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up the meat into smaller pieces, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the meat is mostly cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery to the stockpot and stir over medium-high heat with a wooden spoon for a few minutes, scraping up the browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. This residue is called the fond and it will add lots of flavor to your soup (even if you can’t scrape all of it up at this point, you will be able to loosen it up later when you add the stock). When all of the fond has been scraped from the bottom, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the tomato paste and the ½ teaspoon salt, and stir to combine. Add the bay leaves and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are thoroughly coated with the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low. Add the paprika, thyme, turmeric, oregano, cumin, fennel seeds, curry powder, and cinnamon and stir for 3 to 4 minutes to toast the spices.
- Add the reserved sausage and stir until evenly coated with the spice mixture. Raise the heat to medium; add the potato, parsnip, leek, mushrooms, turnip, and squash; and cook, stirring for a few minutes. Add the stock and tomatoes and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the lentils and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Add the winter greens and stir well, Let the soup simmer for 1 minute, or until the escarole is cooked. The soup should be thick and stewy. Fish out the bay leaves and discard. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
- The soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- I use my 5 ½ quart Le Creuset Dutch oven and it's the perfect size.
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*