Our vegetarian lentil soup for the slow cooker is easy, delicious, and nutritious. It starts with one pound of dried lentils, diced aromatics, fire-roasted tomatoes, and seasonings.
The prep time is a quick 15 minutes. But if chopping onions and garlic in the morning just isn't your thing, you can chop everything the night or two before. Just store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container or bag, and they'll be ready to use when you are.
While the lentils don't need to be pre-soaked, you do need to sort through them. You'll be looking for bits of field debris that might have slipped through during the harvesting/sorting process. Then you simply pour them into a colander or fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold, running water. After the water has drained off, they can be added to the slow cooker.
Lentils are plant superstars, and here are plenty of reasons to add them to your diet. They are high in:
But they are also low in:
Plus, lentils are a good source of iron, which is so important for healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
16 ounce bag dried lentils, rinsed and drained
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, well-rinsed and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
14.5 ounce can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 dried bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
Juice of half a lemon
Grated parmesan - optional garnish
1. Rinse and drain: Using a 6-quart slow cooker, add the rinsed and drained lentils. No soaking is needed, but rinse with cold water to...
2. Add: Add the celery, onions, carrots, garlic, and can of undrained diced tomatoes.
3. Add the seasonings: Add the dried thyme, smoked paprika, bay leaf, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and liquid smoke; stir to combine.
4. Cook: With lid on, cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Cooking is complete when the lentils are delightfully tender.
5. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon and add to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese.