As usual this dish cane be made vegetarian or vegan by omitting the meat.
The weather here in Northern California has taken a (California) winter turn and a warm bowl of lentil stew is the perfect dinner for a chilly night. We made the whole pound of lentils so that we would have leftovers. I use the vegetables and sausage in two ways. First I dice up some for mirepoix and sauté that in some olive oil. By doing this the lentils get to cook in a flavorful base. After simmering the lentils for 30 minutes in water or a water/chicken stock broth, I add larger chunks of carrots, celery, and sausage and cook the stew a little longer until the veg is crisp cooked and the sausage is warmed through.