This Lentil, Sausage, and Cabbage Soup with Balsamic Vinegar is gluten-free and South Beach Diet friendly, and the touch of balsamic vinegar makes this soup really delicious!
It's no secret that I've been re-shooting the photos for my past recipes for many years now, and it's always satisfying to get a new photo that shows off the recipe a little better. But what really feels great is being able to replace a truly horrible old photo with a nicer one, and if you scroll down and see the original photo of this Lentil, Sausage, and Cabbage Soup with Balsamic Vinegar you'll understand completely why I'm so happy to update this recipe with better photos!
I first posted this recipe back in February 2007 when my friend Alanna at a Veggie Venture was focusing on soup, and I originally made the recipe for a Superbowl party. When I took the new photos I couldn't resist the urge to use partly red lentils this time, and also to add some balsamic vinegar to the soup, which I think only improved it! I love lentils and cabbage, and they're delicious together in this soup.
Lentils are one of the slow-digesting carbs that many carb-conscious eaters eat in small amounts, but if you want a lower-carb version of this soup I would use more sausage, less lentils, and skip the carrots and use more of the other vegetables. We gobbled this up on a day when we had a few different recipes to sample, and I loved it with a little freshly-grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on at the table.
Add the water, chicken stock, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, oregano, Spike Seasoning, tomato paste, and red and brown lentils to the soup and start to simmer. Then cut up the sausage, carrots, onion, celery, and cabbage one at a time and add each to the soup.
Simmer the soup on low heat for 2-3 hours, or until lentils are soft and starting to dissolve into the soup and some of the vegetables are breaking down. Add more liquid part way through the cooking time if it seems like the soup is getting too thick. (The long cooking time doesn't improve the looks, but it does add flavor!)
When you're ready to serve the soup, stir in a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar) and cook for a few minutes. Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table if desired.
And oh my, here is the original photo of this soup from 2007!
Lentil, Sausage, and Cabbage Soup with Balsamic Vinegar
(Makes 8-10 servings. You could half the recipe, but this freezes well. Recipe created by Kalyn for a soup event at A Veggie Venture.)
4 cups water
8 cups homemade chicken stock, chicken broth, or water with chicken soup base
2-3 bay leaves
2 T minced garlic (or less, but I love garlic)
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 T Spike Seasoning (or any all-purpose seasoning that you like will work)
2 T tomato paste (I used the type from a tube)
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
1/2 cup red lentils (or use all brown lentils if that's what you have)
4 links precooked sausage, cut into small pieces (I used Sabatinos Smoked Mozzarella Chicken Sausage with Artichokes and Garlic from Costco.)
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
3 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
2 T balsamic vinegar or white balsamic vinegar to add at the end (optional but recommended)
freshly-grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table (optional)
Put water, chicken stock, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, oregano, Spike Seasoning, tomato paste, and lentils in large soup pot and start to simmer.
Cut sausage in fourths lengthwise, then into small pieces and add to soup. Add finely chopped onion, celery, and carrots and coarsely chopped cabbage. Let soup simmer on low 2-3 hours or more, until lentils are starting to dissolve, and some of the vegetables have been incorporated into soup. You may want to add a little more water or chicken stock partway through, depending on how much liquid evaporates as it cooks.
When the soup is done, discard bay leaves and stir in the balsamic vinegar (if using) and cook a few minutes longer. Serve hot, with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table if desired.
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
If you made this soup with carrots as written, that would make it Phase Two for the South Beach Diet. If you'd like a lower-carb version of this soup, use more sausage and less lentils, and omit the carrots and use more of the other vegetables. I'm sure the lower-carb version will be equally delicious!
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you're a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Great Lentil Soups to Try:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach Diet friendly or carb-conscious; check ingredients.)
Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
One-of-Everything Lentil Soup from The Perfect Pantry
Indian-Spiced Slow Cooker Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Coconut Milk ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Ethiopian-Inspired Red Lentil Soup from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Vegan Lentil Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cumin ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)