Don’t let the red lentils, sweet potatoes, and kale fool you. While this one-pot meal is ridiculously nourishing, it’s also deeply satiating. We suspect the richness and subtle heat of chorizo has something to do with that. And it reheats beautifully. Stand aside, chicken noodle soup.Angie Zoobkoff

Bowl of red lentil soup with kale and chorizo, sweet potatoes, and onions.

Red Lentil Soup with Kale and Chorizo

5 / 5 votes
This red lentil soup with kale and chorizo includes inexpensive, everyday ingredients like sweet potatoes and lentils. A hearty and satisfying winter dinner and also, because it reheats beautifully, a take-to-work lunch.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories341 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium (6 1/2 oz) onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces store-bought or homemade fresh chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • One (14-ounce) sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups store-bought canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 ounces Lacinato kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to medium, add the chorizo, and cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until it’s no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in the sweet potato and cook, stirring frequently, for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken broth and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the kale and the lentils and cook until the lentils are just tender but not mushy, 10 to 15 minutes more. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.


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Serving: 1 bowlCalories: 341 kcalCarbohydrates: 29 gProtein: 21 gFat: 17 gSaturated Fat: 6 gMonounsaturated Fat: 6 gCholesterol: 40 mgSodium: 935 mgFiber: 10 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe © 2016 Samantha Seneviratne. Photo © 2016 Stephen Kent Johnson. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

First, this recipe is easy to make. Second, it tastes good. Third, it reheats well.

I made this vegetarian by using vegetable broth and vegetable chorizo. The brand I used was called Soychorizo and it was very good. My husband liked it a lot and it really added something to the soup. Initially, I thought I’d say that you definitely needed chorizo, but I don’t think the soup needed it on reheating. Just to be clear, when I initially served the soup, I cooked the chorizo and served it on the side for people to add as much as they liked. We all thought it was good but it allowed us to add as much as we wanted. The soup was good without sausage and with sausage. I think that Italian sausage is a good substitute for people who don’t like chorizo and I also think this soup can stand on its own.

I love this soup! This is the ultimate comfort food and it’s healthy so it’s a major win all around.

Let me start by saying this is not a dish I would typically make. I’ve made a recent resolution to cook more soup for my family and I’ve been specifically interested in lentil and sweet potato combinations, so this was a no brainer for me.

I also love that the soup cooks up in such a short amount of time and there is little effort involved with such tasty results.

My grocery store only had a fresh Organic Chicken Chorizo Sausage in stock and it was surprisingly very good. I would use it again. I used baby kale, as I thought it may be slightly more tender than lacinato and I wanted my teen to eat it, and he did! I finished the soup with freshly cracked pepper and 2 tablespoons lime juice as I didn’t have lemon juice on hand and it was a great final finishing touch.

This recipe is among my favorites and I cannot wait to make it again. I may double it for leftovers next time because it almost instantly disappeared, it was that good.

UPDATE: I just made the soup again and used lacinato kale this time, also wonderful, just a bit more prep work, which was done during the cooking time. Love this soup!

This soup makes a healthy light supper perfect for a weeknight or drizzly day. It was fast work to brown the sausage and chop the onions and sweet potatoes. In no time at all we had a lovely and filling soup for dinner.

The only complaint I received was about the spiciness of the sausage. I was unaware that it had used hot peppers in the meat mix which rendered it very spicy indeed. I would heartily recommend, if you are making this soup and want to impress your friends and loved ones, that you use the chorizo sausage recipe from this site. This will allow you to control the amount of heat your chorizo has and imparts to this lovely soup. In fact, it is the only change I would make to this recipe.

A very easy one pot meal that was healthy and flavorful. I love cooking red lentils, as they are incredibly quick to cook on the stove top. They are also very light and hence the addition of sweet potatoes does not make it a heavy soup. The dish itself is quite pleasing to the eye.

I made the recipe vegetarian by omitting the chorizo sausage. The end result was a simple and mild red lentil soup. I felt the need to flavor it a tad. So I heated up 2 tablespoons ghee, seasoned it with cumin seeds, added a tablespoon each coriander and cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, and 1 teaspoon turmeric. I added the mixture to the soup and added cilantro for added flavor.

It could be served with pita or crusty bread.

On day one, this soup is good. On day two, this soup is truly great! Once the favors have a chance to get to know one another, it really elevates the taste of the soup.

The recipe is well written and the timing is pretty spot on. One major thing to note is that this soup most definitely needs salt. It says to salt and pepper to taste, which is okay to say, but without the right amount of salt this soup is very bland, really!

Such an easy and delicious soup. The flavors of the sausage, kale, and sweet potatoes go together really nicely. Make sure to buy good, flavorful sausage, though, as it is the main spice to the soup. I used lemon juice instead of vinegar.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    With a quick search for a weeknight dinner using pantry items on hand, I came across this gem of a recipe! Healthy and colorful, this soup also freezes well so you can enjoy it again at a moment’s notice. I had frozen, organic kale on hand instead of fresh Lacinato kale and subbed in a nice chicken sausage I had in the freezer for the chorizo; but like all soups, homemade chicken stock really lends a ton of flavor to this tasty dish!

    1. Anna, this is a wonderful recipe. And the best part, as you say, is you can freeze it. A great idea for times like these!