Every year, from February to May, Lent begins in Germany. For over a month, people abstain from meat, bread and dairy products in order to cleanse their bodies and prepare for the upcoming holidays. During this time, it is traditional to prepare a big pot of goulash (a casserole of meat and noodles) for a special day when the whole family eats together.
The German word “Linsen” means “lentils” and the soup is made from them and mostly served in the winter months. It’s thought to have originated from the Czech Republic, where it is called “Pizzely”. The most famous recipe for this soup is from the region of Bavaria, and it is traditionally served with a fried egg on top. Today, the dish is still popular in the Czech Republic and in some other parts of the world. There are many different ways to prepare it, and many different variations of the ingredients. Some people add pork fat, others add pork, and others add sauerkraut. Some people add sugar or vinegar, while others add milk or cream.
If you’ve never had German lentil soup, you’re not missing anything. The dish (also known as Linsensuppe) is a classic favorite of many Germans. The lentils are cooked in a well seasoned broth and then served in a bowl with some of the broth to pour over the top. What makes the dish so delicious is that it has a nice balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy flavors. If you want to learn how to make German lentil soup, you’ll want to check out this post. Once you try this soup, you may never go back to regular lentil soup again.
This German Lentil Soup Is Sure to Fill You Up!
Do you have a hankering for something comforting, meaty, and all-around delectable? You’ll love our German lentil soup, known as Linsensuppe in German.
This simple German lentil soup recipe is packed with fresh ingredients that cook down to create a delicious dish that appeals to a wide range of taste buds.
This soup includes potatoes, carrots, celery, leek, pancetta bacon, and European Weiner sausages in a thinner broth – yet it’s still substantial like a German lentil stew. It’s a soup that goes well with a fresh piece of bread!
Our German Lentil Soup, with almost all of the ingredients visible!
Suggestions/Substitutions for the Recipe
If you’re cooking this soup in North America, you may need to make a few changes to the recipe compared to those who prepare it in Germany.
- We were fortunate to obtain European-style wiener sausage, so we utilized it for this soup and would suggest it to you as well. However, if you can’t get European wieners or bockwurst, regular hotdogs will suffice.
- We couldn’t locate Schinkenspeck, a kind of German bacon that’s traditionally used in this soup, so we substituted Italian pancetta instead. This is usually simpler to come by in North American grocery shops, works well, and gives the soup the most authentic taste we could come up with!
- Celery: In Germany, soups are often prepared using celery roots (brown/tan balls) rather than green celery sticks since they were formerly easier to come by. However, we are aware that the situation in North America is the polar opposite. So, if you can get a tiny celery root, go ahead and utilize it. If not, a few of celery sticks will suffice.
This recipe produces a large pot of German Lentil Soup, which freezes well.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making German Lentil Soup
If you’d like to prepare German lentil soup, the recipe card with precise measurements may be found at the bottom of this article.
You may follow along with the recipe pictures below if you want to view the recipe process photos!
Vegetables should be peeled, washed, and chopped.
Peel the potatoes and carrots first. If you want, you may leave the skin on, but be sure to wash them well afterwards to remove any debris.
Depending on their size, cut the potatoes into tiny cubes and the carrots into slices or cubes.
Also, wash the celery before slicing it.
Chop the onion and chop the pancetta into small pieces.
Chop the onion into tiny pieces after peeling it. If you didn’t purchase pancetta that was already sliced, chop it into tiny pieces as well. If you can, purchase pancetta that isn’t overly greasy.
Alternatively, you may chop some of the excessively fatty portions extremely tiny (or eliminate them entirely) and cook them in the pan.
The leek should be washed and sliced.
Wash and cut the leek into rings at the same time. It’s critical to thoroughly wash the leek since it may become very filthy in between layers, which you don’t want in the soup.
Cook the pancetta bacon in a skillet.
In a big saucepan, heat the oil, then add the pancetta bacon and cook for a few minutes, until the fatty bits are transparent or gently cooked. Stir often.
The onions should be transparent by now, and the pancetta bacon should be gently browned.
Toss in the veggies.
Now add the veggies, mix everything together, and cook for another couple of minutes.
Lentils should be washed.
Meanwhile, rinse the lentils under running water…
Toss in the lentils.
…and then add them to the saucepan of veggies.
Pour in the veggie broth.
Pour in enough vegetable broth to barely cover the contents of the kettle.
We typically need around 6 cups of broth, but this may vary depending on the size of your pot and the quantity of the veggies you use.
Add the chopped parsley and mix everything together at this point.
Bring the soup to a boil at this point. When the water has reached a boil, cover the pot with its lid and reduce the heat.
Allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes on low heat, or until the lentils are cooked and the veggies are tender. Make care to whisk the mixture every now and then.
Cut the wiener sausages into pieces.
Cut up the wiener sausages when the soup is nearly done. If you want, you may leave them whole; we prefer to chop them up so that they are equally dispersed throughout the soup.
Add the sausages to the broth and mix well.
Add salt and salt and pepper to taste after about 30 minutes, when the soup is almost done.
Also, add the cut-up wiener sausages, mix everything together, and set aside for a few minutes until the soup is heated.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
With a little more chopped parsley, we enjoy our German lentil soup!
Any leftovers may be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container. Make sure you just reheat the amount you’ll eat, not the whole batch of leftovers.
You may reheat the soup in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove.
Keep in mind that the soup will thicken as it sits, but it will still be wonderful.
Recipes that are similar
Do you want to try some more German soups? What are your thoughts on soups in general? Then give some of our other dishes a try:
- potatoes, 1 pound (approx. 4 medium-sized potatoes)
- 1 leek
- a couple of celery sticks
- 2 carrots, medium size
- 1 yellow onion, medium-sized
- 5 oz. bacon (pancetta) (more or less to taste)
- 1 1/2 cup lentils (brown)
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 6 c. vegetable stock (approx.)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 4 wieners from Europe
- season with salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Peel the carrots and potatoes. Celery should be washed. Potatoes should be cut into tiny cubes, while celery and carrots should be cut into slices.
- Peel and finely slice the onion. If you didn’t purchase pancetta that was already sliced, chop the bacon into fine cubes.
- Wash the leek well (it may be filthy) and slice it into rings.
- In a big saucepan, heat some oil. Fry the pancetta bacon for a few minutes over medium-high heat, until the fatty bits look cooked. Stir often. After that, add the onions and cook until they are clear and the pancetta bacon is lightly browned.
- Combine the carrots, potatoes, celery, and leek in a large mixing bowl. Stir everything together, then sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Wash your lentils under running water in the meanwhile. After that, toss them in with the veggies in the saucepan.
- Fill the saucepan with just enough vegetable broth to cover the ingredients. For lentil soup, this typically amounts to about 6 cups of vegetable broth in our case. However, depending on the size of your pot and the veggies you use, it may be somewhat more or less for you.
- Stir in the chopped parsley until everything is well combined. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil after that. Cover the saucepan with a lid and reduce the heat after it has reached a boil. Allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes on low heat, or until the lentils are cooked and the veggies are tender. Stir once in a while.
- Cut up the European wiener sausages when the soup is nearly done.
- Add salt and pepper to taste after around 30 minutes. Also, add the cut-up wieners to the pot of soup and heat them up for a few minutes. Serve and have fun!
- Make careful to use European wieners to give this soup its genuine taste. They taste very different from North American hot dogs in our view, and give the soup a flavor similar to what you’d get if you cooked it in Germany. We can get them at our neighborhood supermarket (in Canada). If you can’t locate European wieners, you can certainly substitute different sausages.
- In Germany, we make this dish using “Schinkenspeck,” which is a kind of bacon. In North America, the closest comparable is pancetta bacon, which is readily available. That is why it is used in this German soup dish. If you can, purchase pancetta that isn’t simply fat.
- Celery root is historically used in German soups. This is due to the fact that until approximately a decade ago, green celery stalks were not commonly accessible in Germany. If you can locate celery root, that’s fantastic; if not, two sticks of regular green celery will suffice.
Information about nutrition:
Serving Size: 6 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size 456 calories 28g total fat 10g Saturated Fat 0g trans fat 16g of unsaturated fat 56 milligrams of cholesterol 1314mg sodium 34 g carbohydrate 7 g of fiber 5 g sugar 18 g protein
An online nutrition calculator was used to determine this nutritional information. It should only be used as a guideline and not as a substitute for expert dietary guidance. Depending on the particular components used, the exact values may vary.
How did this recipe turn out for you?
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My family and I love soup. My husband usually makes his own, but because our schedule is often unpredictable, I typically have to cook as much as I can before we leave for the day. This recipe is especially great for those days when I have a few house guests for dinner. It’s also a great source of protein, fiber, and vitamins.. Read more about vegetarische linsensuppe and let us know what you think.