A traditional German brown lentil soup with potatoes, vegetables and Vienna sausages.
There is no other German soup that I have eaten more often than this Lentil Potato Soup with Vienna Sausages. It was one of the first soups I have eaten in Germany and the one German kind of soup I have been cooking more often myself ever since. Of course, there is always the Romanian Chicken Soup with Dumplings, which is our absolute number one and which I cook at least every two weeks or so, but otherwise, in terms of frequency, this must be number two.
And why? Well, first of all it is absolutely delicious, it is very easy to make, sooo cheap and one of my husband’s favorite soups, I think his mother used to cook it even more often than I do when he was a child. And it was the first soup that I have ever cooked myself, so it holds a special place in my heart as well.
I have cooked this so often, I really don’t need to follow a recipe anymore. I got the original recipe from my mother-in-law long ago, but over the years, I have changed that to fit our taste better, lost the Maggi she used, added some vinegar and a bit more vegetables. A last idea to make this soup perfect in my eyes, was given to me by a friend, who suggested to use a whole piece of smoked pork belly or bacon with rind.
The fact that you keep the rind on the belly or bacon for the whole of the cooking process makes this German Lentil Potato Soup with Vienna Sausages even heartier and if you keep it in one piece, you will be able to remove the rind when the soup is done cooking, I would not be very keen on eating that…
So, if you would like to try a really typical German soup, do give this German Lentil Potato Soup with Vienna Sausages a try, I am sure you will love it.
Other sausage dishes you might like:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 125 g/ 4.4 oz smoked pork belly with rind or smoked bacon with rind (See note)
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 piece celeriac, about 50 g/ 1.7 oz
- 1 small leek
- 200 g/ 7 oz brown lentils
- 300 g/ 10.5 oz potatoes
- 1,5 – 2 liter/ 6.5-8.5 cups stock (beef stock, chicken stock or bone broth)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dry lovage
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, to taste
- salt and pepper
- 8 Vienna sausages
Heat the oil in a soup pan. Add the smoked pork belly with rind or the smoked bacon with rind in one piece and fry it well on both sides. If using already cubed bacon or pork belly without the rind, fry them all over as well.
In the meantime finely chop the onion, carrots, celeriac and leek. Give them to the pot and stir. Leave the pork belly in the pot.
Give the rinsed lentils and 1,5 liter/ 6.5 cups stock or bone broth to the pot. Add the bay leaves and the dry lovage. Stir, bring to a boil and let cook on low heat for about 20-30 minutes or until the brown lentils are quite soft but not mushy. The cooking time depends on the lentils, check the packet's instructions and try to see if the lentils are quite done before you add the potatoes.
In the meantime, peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes. Give them to the pot. The soup should be really thick, but if you find it too thick, you can add some or all of the remaining stock at this point. Bring to a boil again and continue cooking the soup for about another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Take out the pork belly or bacon. Remove and discard the rind. Chop the rest of the pork belly or bacon into small pieces. Give them back to the soup.
Adjust the taste with salt, pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Add only 2 tablespoons vinegar first and add more to taste.
Just before serving heat the Vienna sausages in a large pot of water and serve 1 or 2 sausages per person. For a speedier version, slice the sausages thickly and heat the sausage pieces in the soup.
If serving the Vienna sausage whole, you can offer some mustard as well.
Serve with bread.
If you use smoked pork belly or bacon with rind, you should keep it in one piece, otherwise you will not be able to remove the rind at the end of the cooking process, that is very difficult to do if you chop and cook the pork belly first and then try to remove the rind. Of course, you could eat the rind, if you like, but I would rather not, it does give the soup a great, hearty taste, but I do not like biting on it. You could also make the soup with rindless chopped bacon or pork belly.
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