We used to make this dish as lentils, turkey sausage, and carrots but decided to up the vegetable ante to include celery, mushrooms, and kale to make it more nutritious and filling. I start my lentil stew by sautéing the turkey sausage in a little olive oil and then removing the slightly browned pieces and adding the mushrooms, onions, and garlic to the oil which is now flavored by the sausage. Once they are cooked I add the lentils and the rest of the vegetables with chicken stock to cover. Towards the end of cooking I add the turkey sausage back in. Along with salt I used chipotle powder, smoked paprika, and sriracha to season and spice things up. I was aiming for a spicy, smoky outcome.
The lentils need about 20-30 minutes to become tender. I served it over raw kale but it would be good over rice or even just as is.