German Lentil Soup (Linsensuppe)

This German Lentil Soup Will Certainly Keep You Full!

Craving something warm, hearty, and all-around delicious? Our German lentil soup – called Linsensuppe in German- is the recipe for you!

This easy-to-make German lentil soup recipe is full of fresh ingredients that simmer down to become this wonderful creation that suits lots of different flavor palates.

With a thinner broth – but definitely hearty like a German lentil stew -, this soup features potatoes, carrots, celery, leek as well as pieces of pancetta bacon and European Weiner sausages. It’s a soup that serves well with a slice of fresh bread!

green german lentil soup in white bowl with green pot behind
Our German Lentil Soup – with all the ingredients basically visible!

Recipe Tips/Substitutions

If you are making this soup recipe in North America, you might have to make a few substitutions compared to those who make it in Germany.

  • Sausage: We were able to find European-style wiener sausage so that’s what we used for this soup and would recommend you to use it as well. However, if you can’t get a hold of European wieners or bockwurst, then you can definitely also use normal hotdogs.
  • Bacon: We were unable to find Schinkenspeck – a type of German bacon usually used for this soup – so we settled for using Italian pancetta. This is typically easier to find in North American grocery stores, works well, and provides the soup with as traditional a flavor as we could create!
  • Celery: In Germany, soups are often made with celery roots (the brown/tan balls) instead of green celery sticks since they were just more easy to get a hold of in the past. However, we know that it is the opposite in North America. So, if you can get a hold of a small celery root, feel free to use it. If not, just use a couple of celery sticks.
bowl of german lentil soup with silver spoon beside and green pot behind
This recipe makes a big pot of German Lentil Soup – perfect for leftovers!

How to Make German Lentil Soup – Step by Step Instructions

If you want to make German lentil soup, you can find the recipe card with the exact measurement at the bottom of this post.

For those wanting to see the recipe process photos, you can follow along with the recipe photos below!

carrots potatoes and celery chopped on white cutting board
Peel, wash, and cut the vegetables.

First, peel the potatoes and carrots. You could also leave the skin on if you prefer – but then wash them well so there is no dirt left.

Cut the potatoes into small cubes and the carrots into slices or cubes depending on their size.

Also, wash the celery, then cut it into slices.

chopped onions and pancetta bacon on white plastic cutting board
Chop the onion and cut the pancetta.

Peel the onion and chop it into fine cubes. Also cut the pancetta bacon into small cubes if you didn’t buy pancetta that was pre-cut. Try buying pancetta that is not too fatty if you can.

Alternatively, you can cut some of the overly fatty pieces very small (or discard them completely) so that they’ll fry up in the pan.

one leek cut into strips on wooden cutting board
Wash and cut the leek.

At this time, also wash and cut the leek into rings. It’s really important to wash leek well since it can be quite dirty in between layers and you don’t want that to be in the soup.

pink pancetta bacon cubes on bottom of soup pot
Fry the pancetta bacon.

Heat some oil in a large pot, then add the pancetta bacon and fry it for a few minutes until the fatty pieces appear translucent or lightly cooked. Stir regularly.

Then add the onions and sauté them until they are translucent and the pancetta bacon is lightly browned.

soup pot full of colorful chopped vegetables
Add the vegetables.

Now add the vegetables, give everything a stir, and then sauté them for a couple of minutes as well.

brown lentils in metal strainer over kitchen sink
Wash the lentils.

In the meantime, wash the lentils under running water…

soup pot filled with chopped vegetables and lentils
Add the lentils.

… then add them to the vegetables in the pot.

lentil soup in pot with chopped parsley added on top
Add vegetable broth.

Now pour in enough vegetable broth into the pot so that it just covers all of its contents.

We usually need about 6 cups of broth, but this might vary for you depending on your pot and the size of the vegetables you used.

At this stage, also add the chopped parsley and give everything a stir.

Now bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot with its lid and turn down the heat.

Let the soup simmer on low heat for around 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the vegetables are soft. Make sure to stir occasionally.

sliced european weiner sausage on plastic cutting board
Cut the wiener sausages.

When the soup is almost done cut-up the wiener sausages. You could also leave them whole if you prefer – we just like cutting them up so that they are more evenly distributed throughout the soup.

german lentil soup simmering in green pot with lid off on stove
Add the sausages to the soup.

After around 30 minutes, when the soup is basically done, add salt and pepper to taste.

Also, add the cut-up wiener sausages, stir everything, and then let them sit in the pot of soup for a few minutes until hot.

Serve hot and enjoy!

bowl of green german lentil soup on wooden cutting board
We like our German lentil soup with a bit of extra chopped parsley!

Storage Tips

You can store any leftovers in a container with a lid in the fridge for 2-3 days. Make sure to only reheat the portions you want to consume and not all the leftovers at once.

You can reheat the soup either in a small pot on the stove or in the microwave.

Keep in mind that the soup might get mushier over time – but it will still taste delicious.

Related Recipes

Want more German soups? How about soups in general? Then try out some of our other recipes:

green german lentil soup in white bowl with green pot behind

German Lentil Soup (Linsensuppe)

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This German Lentil Soup - also known as Linsensuppe - is a warm and filling dish. Made with brown lentils, potatoes, carrots, pancetta bacon, and European-style wiener, it's a hearty soup packed with flavors!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound potatoes (approx. 4 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 1 leek
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 medium-sized carrots
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 5 oz pancetta bacon (more or less to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (approx.)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 4 European wieners
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel the potatoes and carrots. Wash the celery. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and the celery and carrots into slices.
  2. Peel the onion and finely chop it. Also, cut the pancetta bacon into fine cubes if you didn't buy pancetta which is pre-cut.
  3. Wash the leek really well (it can be quite dirty) and cut it into rings.
  4. Heat some oil in a large pot. Add the pancetta bacon and fry it on medium-high heat for a few minutes until the fatty pieces appear cooked. Stir regularly. Then add the onions and sauté them until the onions are clear and the pancetta bacon is lightly browned.
  5. Add the carrots, potatoes, celery, and leek. Give everything a stir, then sauté them for around 2 minutes as well.
  6. In the meantime, wash your lentils under running water. Then add them to the vegetables in the pot.
  7. Add enough vegetable broth to the pot so that it just covers its contents. In our case, this is usually around 6 cups of vegetable broth for lentil soup. However, it might be slightly more or less for you depending on the size of your pot and your vegetables.
  8. Add the chopped parsley and give everything a stir. Then bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot with a lid and turn down the heat. Let the soup simmer on low heat for around 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the vegetables are soft. Stir occasionally.
  9. When the soup is almost done, cut up the European wiener sausages.
  10. After around 30 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste. Also, add the cut-up wieners and let them sit in the pot of soup for a few minutes until hot. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • To give this soup its true flavor, make sure to add European wieners. In our opinion, they taste quite a bit different than North American hot dogs and give the soup the taste you'd also get if you made it in Germany. We can buy them in our local grocery store (in Canada). If you can't find European wieners, you can of course add other sausages as well.
  • We use "Schinkenspeck" when making this recipe in Germany - it's a form of bacon. The closest equivalent that we can easily get a hold of in North America is pancetta bacon. That's why we use it for this German soup recipe. Try buying pancetta that is not just fat if you can.
  • German soups are traditionally made using celery root. This is because the green celery stalks North Americans are used to weren't widely available in Germany until about a decade ago. So, if you can find celery root, that's great - but if you can't, two sticks of classic green celery will do just fine.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 456Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 1314mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 18g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice. The exact values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

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