Prepare crockpot lentil soup in the morning and have a filling and healthy dinner ready in the evening. With a combination of beans and vegetables, this soup has lots of unique flavors.
Are lentils healthy?
This easy soup that cooks all day in the crockpot while you are busy is full of nutrients. Lentils are low in calories but have lots of important vitamins and minerals.
- B vitamins
What are the different types of lentils?
Lentils are actually edible seeds. You can find them in several varieties, usually identified by their color.
- Brown lentils are the most common kind to see. They have an earthy flavor and hold their shape and texture well during cooking.
- Puy lentils are from a region in France. They are smaller, but they take longer to cook because of their tougher skin.
- Green lentils are also easy to find. They do tend to split and thicken your soup but have a slightly peppery taste.
- Red lentils cook quickly and have a soft texture. They also have a sweet flavor.
- Beluga lentils are small and black. They have a firm texture and are usually used in salads.
Can you put raw lentils in a crockpot?
You do not have to soak lentils before putting them in the crockpot, but I do recommend it. It helps with digestion…if you know what I mean.
Rinse your dried beans first. The easiest way to do this is to put them in a colander and run water over them. This will rinse off any leftover dirt. Sift through them as well. There are occasionally small stones that get mixed in with the lentils. You don’t want to serve those in your soup.
If you are using dried cannellini beans, you can soak all three varieties in the same bowl. Make sure there is plenty of water in the bowl. Soak them for at least two hours. Overnight is ideal. The cannellini beans will take longer than the lentils due to their size.
If you choose not to pre-soak your beans, you will need to increase your cooking time.
How to cook crockpot lentil soup
Lentils in the crockpot almost always turn out perfectly. It’s easy to overcook lentils on the stovetop. Cooking them at a fast boil or for too long will allow them to split and get mushy. Cooking them slowly in the crockpot eliminates this risk.
After soaking the beans and chopping the vegetables, just toss everything in the crockpot and let it do its thing!
Crockpot lentil soup recipe variations
This slow-cooker lentil soup tastes great just the way it is, but you can make some changes to the recipe for different variations. Try adding some of these flavorful options to your soup:
- Red wine vinegar
- Parmesan cheese
- Butternut squash
- Kale (add it just for the last 20 minutes of cooking)
You can also omit the bacon and use vegetable stock if you want it to be a vegetarian soup.
Instant Pot version: Instant Pot Lentil Soup
Crockpot Lentil Soup
- 3.5 oz bacon - (6 slices)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup dried green lentils - preferably soaked overnight
- 1 cup dried red lentils - preferably soaked overnight
- 1 cup cannellini beans (white kidney beans) - preferably soaked overnight
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp-Tbsp chili powder
- 6 cups flavorful chicken broth
- sea salt
- parsley - for garnish
- Add lentils and beans to a large bowl and fill with abundant cool water. Soak for at the very least 2 hours, better overnight (10-12 hours).
- Peel and finely chop onion and garlic. Peel carrots and dice. Wash celery and dice.
- Add chopped onion and garlic and diced celery and carrots to the crockpot.
- Drain and rinse soaked lentils and beans and then add to the crockpot.
- Add thyme, chili powder, sea salt, pepper, and broth to the crockpot, give it all a quick stir, then place the lid on top.
- Set crockpot to 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. (For unsoaked legumes, use 5 hours on high and 10 hours on low).
- 30-45 minutes before cooking time is over, crisp up bacon in either a pan over medium heat or the oven at 400F for 20-25 minutes on a baking sheet.
- Before serving, give it a taste to see if it needs more seasoning with sea salt and pepper.
- To serve, add to a bowl, sprinkle crispy bacon, and finely chopped parsley on top and enjoy!