I LOVE Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa): Lentil and Sausage Soup Recipe

When I think of Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) there are so many things that I admire about her life; her amazing career, her incredible creative talent, her loving relationship with her husband Jeffrey, her great friends, her beautiful home, her well-maintained garden and I could go on and on………

So I thought I would share a few recipes of hers that I thought you might enjoy trying the next time you are having a dinner party or are looking for some entertaining food ideas.


Makes 4 Quarts: Serves 8-10


1 pound green lentils

¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
4 cups diced yellow onion (3 large)
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 ½  teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves (1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups medium diced celery (6 stalks)
5 cups medium diced carrots (4 carrots)
3 quarts (15 cups) chicken stock
¼ cup tomato paste
1 pound kielbasa, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  Drain.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender.  Add the celery and carrots and sauté for another 10 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender.  Check the seasonings.  Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. 

Served drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan. 


Serves 6


3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, small-diced
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ cup minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 pounds jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled (tails left on) and deveined
Mango Salsa (recipe follows)


Combine the garlic, onion, parsley, basil, mustards, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Add the shrimp and allow them to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals, and brush the grilled rack with oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking.  Skewer the shrimp.  Grill the shrimp for 1 ½ minutes on each side.  Serve with mango salsa.                       

Makes 2 Cups
2 tbl. spoons olive oil
1 ½ cups diced yellow onion
2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
2 ripe mangos
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves


Saute the olive oil, onions, and ginger in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the mangos; reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 more minutes.  Add the orange juice, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and jalpenos; cook for 10 more minutes, or until the orange juice is reduced, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the head and add the mint.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. 


Serves 8 – 12 
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (or Swiss)
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs, plain or seasoned
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry (such as Pepperidge Farm), defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
1 extra-large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the butter in a sauté pan and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Meanwhile, squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and place it in a bowl.  Add the onion mixture, scallions, Gruyere, Parmesan, eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and pine nuts.  Mix well.

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and place it on a baking sheet line with parchment paper.  Spread out the spinach mixture in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border.  Brush the border with the egg wash.  Roll out the second piece of puff pastry on a floured board until it’s an inch larger in each direction.  Place the second sheet of pastry over the spinach and seal the edges, crimping them with a fork.  Brush the top with egg wash but don’t let it drip down the sides or the pastry won’t rise.  Make three small slits in the pastry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pastry in lightly browned.  Transfer the a cutting board and serve hot.


  • Defrost puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator.  Be sure it’s still cold when you bake it.
  • To toast pine nuts, place in a dry sauté pan over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned.

This can be assembled a day in advance, refrigerated, and baked before serving.

***If you like any of these recipes, check out Barefoot Contessa on Food Network or  Ina’s website.

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One Comment

  1. The Lentil Sausage soup is one of my favorites!