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!
It would be Really helpful if you could add the measurements in grams after the cup. In the UK and we don’t do cups
I have a 6 qt instant pot/crockpot. Would doubling this be too much volume, do you think? Also, would this freeze well? Thank you! I’m looking forward to trying this out.
Lorena Grater says
I’m afraid doubling in a 6-quart will be too much. It won’t fit. You can freeze the soup perfectly. I’ve done that many times :)
Hi! Is there a way to amend this to cook on an electric stove top?
Lorena Grater says
Absolutely, all you have to do is add about 1/2 a cup of broth to account for evaporation. Brown the onions, then add everything else and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and simmer until everything is cooked through.
Made this today…. left out the bacon but cooked it with ham! Super yummy! Soaked the beans for about 10 hours. This is just what I needed on this cold and rainy day!
Lorena Graeter says
I’m so happy to read you enjoyed it :D
I made this and it is very yummy!!!
My husband wants me to make again this weekend. Thank you for this delicious recipe!!
Lorena Graeter says
YAY!!! I’m so happy to read this :D
Which of the ingredients is contributing g to the enormous Potassium content? Any ideas how to lower it, for many of us seniors with Chronic Kidney Disease? Thank you
Hi Eileen, lentils are high in potassium. To reduce the potassium you could add a little less lentils and instead add some chicken thighs maybe if you are omnivore.
I soaked the beans and lentils for 4 hours, after 7 hours on high they are still completely hard and inedible. If overnight soaking is mandatory, don’t offer the other options as variations.
Dear Cat, even unsoaked beans and lentils should be completely cooked through after 7 hours. I have never once in my life heard of beans that aren’t cooked after only 1-hour pressure cooking. Your pressure cooker is either malfunctioning or you are using expired beans.
If the dried beans are very old they remain Gard. I had this problem once. Beans did not cook despite soaking overnight. They were sadly out of date
Sometimes when you add salt to uncooked beans they will never soften. So, when I cook I just add the salt after the beans are cooked.
Lorena Grater says
I’ve heard this multiple times and tested it at home without getting to the same conclusion. If it makes a difference for you definitely add later.
Still don’t know how much a serving size would be.
1/6 of the whole recipe.
If you are using canned cannelini beans when do you add them? At the end? How far in advance of it being done? Also do you have to soak the beans overnight? If not what will be the difference? Looking forward to making this tomorrow!!!!!
If you’re using canned cannellini beans you basically just have to add them in time to reheat. They are already cooked and soaking them isn’t necessary. The reason I use dried and soaked beans (or any legumes) really is because the soaking and long cooking makes them easier to digest. Unsoaked are harder to digest and canned are the hardest to digest but the more canned you eat, the better your body can handle it over time. Your gut kind of gets used to it. Mine isn’t very used so I suffer from heartburn if I eat canned. If you can handle canned then, by all means, use canned. They are perfectly fine and healthy. I would say 30 minutes is enough to heat them up well in the slow-cooker. Make sure to rinse them under running water to remove the sodium because you’re already salting your soup :)
Sounds delicious and I cannot wait to make this recipe! How much is a serving size based on the nutritional profile? Approx. 1 cup? Also, the sodium amount is pretty high per serving. Is this due to the sea salt, bacon and “flavourful broth”? Could the sodium be reduced by using low sodium chicken broth and less bacon?
Thank you, Elizabeth. Always take the nutritional info on any recipe website with “a grain of salt” haha. We use automatic calculators that don’t have ALL the same ingredients to choose from that we use. The plugin I use probably has a chicken broth in its database that is high in sodium and cured bacon probably. I have no idea. I’m required by google to add nutritional information but find it absolutely ridiculous because I’m not a nutritionist and also, I have people from all over the world cooking my recipes that will never get the exact same ingredients/brands I get here in Montreal. So to answer the question, yes, your soup will be a lot lower in sodium if you use low sodium broth and salt to your liking :)
Ahhhh! Good to know about the automatic calculators :) Thank you for letting me know. Now, its time to try out the recipe! Yum!
Looks good! Any idea on the timing needed to make this in the instant pot? Thanks
A couple things change, not only time, which is why I linked to the Instant Pot version in the blog post :)