Lentil soup is a delicious and nutritious dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. If you’re looking for an easy, delicious, and thick hearty soup, this recipe for slow cooker lentil soup hits the mark! Make it in advance, then reheat, serve, and enjoy! This soup stays well in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to five months. Serve with a salad and some crusty bread for a wonderful vegetarian meal. Gluten and dairy-free.
Best Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
- 1 yellow onion, chopped medium size onion
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup russet potatoes, diced
- 1 cup green beans I use frozen for convenience. No need to thaw first.
- 2-3 cloves garlic I like a stronger garlic flavor, so I use 3 cloves
- 1 1/2 cups green lentils Do not use red lentils as they will fall apart while cooking in the slow cooker
- 1 15oz can diced petite diced tomatos
- 6-8 cups vegetable stock Use 6 cups to cook in slow cooker - you may want to add more when done if the soup is too thick for your liking
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar to add at end
- Add all ingredients to slow cooker except the red wine vinegar. (Note: Use only 6 cups of the vegetable stock to cook - you can add an additional 1-2 cups if necessary to thin the soup at the end)
- Cook in crock pot or slow cooker on high for 5 hours or until the vegetables and lentils are soft.
- Remove the lid and take out the bay leaf. Add the red wine vinegar and stir to combine. (It's tempting to skip the red wine vinegar, but this step gives the soup a unique flavor you don't want to miss!)
- Add additional vegetable stock if the soup is too thick for your taste.
- Remove a small amount of cooked soup (1/2-1 cup) and using your blender, blend for 5 seconds on high. Add the blended mixture back to the soup and stir to combine to add a little creaminess to the soup.
Reasons to Love Lentil Soup
Lentils are one of the oldest cultivated crops and have been consumed by humans for thousands of years. There is evidence of lentil consumption dating back to around 11,000 years ago in what is now Syria and Turkey. Here are some of the reasons we love lentil soup:
Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, potassium, and manganese. Lentil soup provides a hearty and nutritious meal.
Lentil soup is a global dish enjoyed by many different cultures. There are countless regional variations, each with its unique flavor profile. For example, Indian dal, Middle Eastern lentil soup, and French lentil soup (known as “lentilles du Puy”) all offer distinct tastes and ingredients.
Lentil soup is often considered an economical meal. Lentils are relatively inexpensive and have a long shelf life, making them an accessible and cost-effective source of nutrition.
Vegetarian and Vegan-Friendly
Lentil soup is a popular choice among vegetarians and vegans because it provides a good source of plant-based protein. It can be easily adapted to meet dietary preferences and restrictions.
Quick and Easy
Lentil soup is known for its simplicity and quick preparation. Unlike some other legumes, lentils do not require soaking before cooking, making them a convenient choice for a last-minute meal.
Hearty and Filling
Lentil soup is renowned for its filling nature. The combination of fiber and protein in lentils helps keep you satisfied, making it an excellent option for a comforting and satisfying meal.
While basic lentil soup typically consists of lentils, vegetables, and seasonings, it’s highly adaptable. You can add various vegetables, herbs, spices, and even meats or sausages to create your unique version.
Consuming lentil soup can have various health benefits. It can help with weight management, improve heart health, and help regulate blood sugar levels due to its high fiber content.
Soup for All Seasons
While lentil soup is often associated with warming comfort food for cold weather, it can also be enjoyed year-round. Variations of lentil soup can be served hot in the winter or chilled as a refreshing summer dish.
Whether you’re a fan of classic lentil soup or enjoy experimenting with different flavors and ingredients, there’s no denying the versatility and appeal of this nutritious and satisfying dish.