This hearty recipe for Slow Cooker Sweet Potato, Lentil, and Chicken Sausage Soup with Pumpkin Pie Spices will have your whole house smelling like fall.
So the other morning I hit up the grocery store for a couple things I needed to make this recipe and a couple others. I chatted up a couple employees who I usually see there, and then went on my merry way. I was sidetracked passing through the candle aisle when I happened to notice that the Food Network has a line of candles (how long has this been going on? I feel like I’ve been living under a rock, and can I just say that the Salted Caramel Popcorn really smells like its name?).
The candle aisle at this particular grocery store also happens to house the laundry detergents and such. Across the way from those glorious candles was one of favorite friendly employees talking to a customer who looked like he was in his early 20’s.
Employee: Now, if you’re washing colors, just don’t add bleach next time.
Customer: Oh, so I don’t add bleach to colors? When do I use bleach?
Employee: You add bleach when you’re washing whites.
Customer: Oh, ok. So I don’t add bleach to colors though? Are you kidding me, man?
At that point I stifled a laugh and decided it was time to go. That conversation continued with more of the same as I walked down the aisle; it was a real testament to the employee’s patience, lol.
But really, what more could any of us ask for? The aforementioned customer got a free laundry lesson, I got a little early morning amusement, and the employee a) got to pass on some knowledge, b) was able to help time at work pass quicker, and c) probably got a good chuckle or funny story out of it later.
But on to the recipe at hand, which was one of the dishes I was picking up items for at the grocery store. I brainstormed this recipe as a 2-birds-1-stone solution to remedy the fact that I don’t have nearly enough sweet potato or slow cooker recipes on my blog.
Sweet potato (like pumpkin and butternut) is one of my favorite autumn-ish ingredients that I think often gets overshadowed by some of the more showy vegetables (yup, pumpkin, I’m looking at you). Here, lentils give this soup hearty oomph and browned chicken sausage adds great flavor and a little more complexity than just chicken breast. Baby kale bumps up the nutrition factor. But the real star of this show – the thing that makes the smell alone of this soup drive you wild with desire and will leave you coming back for bowl two and maybe even three – is the pumpkin pie spice mix. It just makes this soup feel like fall.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ lbs (680 g) chicken sausage (buy it in bulk like ground meat or just remove it from the casings)
- 1 large (1 lb) sweet potato, scrubbed and chopped (not peeled)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup (195 g) dried brown lentils
- 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 8½ cups (2 L) low-sodium chicken stock
- 5 oz (142 g) baby kale (I used Earthbound Farm Organic Deep Green Blends Kale)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high to high heat; add the sausage and cook until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the browned sausage and all remaining ingredients (except the kale) to a slow cooker.
- Cook on HIGH until the sweet potato and lentils are tender, about 2 hours to 2 hours, 30 minutes (or on LOW for about 4 to 5 hours).
- Stir in the baby kale and let it sit until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Disclosure: I received the Earthbound Farm product that I used in this recipe for free; as always, opinions stated are my own.