|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||2%|
|Total Carbohydrate 40g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 7g||24%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
There's nothing quite so comforting as a bowl of lentil soup, and this version is full of flavor and super easy to fix in the slow cooker. As if you need another reason, the soup is also a budget-friendly choice, and you probably have most of the ingredients and seasonings on hand. Instead of plain water, use half unsalted vegetable broth or chicken stock for extra flavor. Or use other kinds of vegetables if you like. Feel free to omit the bacon for a vegetarian soup.
A cooking time of 7 to 9 hours is a real convenience if you have to work or have a busy day ahead. If you would rather cook the soup faster, set it on high and cook it for about 3 to 4 hours.
- 2 cups dried lentils
- 8 cups water (or half unsalted vegetable or chicken broth)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons bacon (cooked, crumbled)
- 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
- 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
- 1/4 cup carrot (chopped)
- 3 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (crushed and minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes (diced, with juice)
- 2 tablespoons wine vinegar (red, white, or sherry)
Gather the ingredients.
Rinse the lentils and put them in the slow cooker. Add the water or water and broth along with the onion, celery, carrot, parsley, garlic, pepper, and oregano. The salt, tomatoes, and vinegar will be added later.
Cover the pot and cook on the low setting for 7 to 8 hours. Or cook on high for about 3 to 4 hours, or until the lentils are tender.
Add tomatoes and vinegar. Turn to high and cook for 15 minutes longer, or until hot.
Serve the soup with crackers or crusty French bread.
- A garnish can turn an everyday soup into something quite special and attractive. Top this lentil soup with a dollop of sour cream, shredded mild cheese, herb croutons, or extra parsley. A spoonful of pesto can add both flavor and color, or sprinkle servings with chopped scallions or crispy fried onion rings or shallots.
- Brown lentils and green lentils are excellent choices for soups. Red and yellow lentils are often split, so they tend to cook down and won't hold their shape as well as the other kinds.
- Instant Pot: Add all ingredients except vinegar to the Instant Pot. Lock the lid in place and choose the manual setting, high pressure. Make sure the knob is in the "sealing" position and set the time to 16 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Add the wine vinegar and stir to blend. Set the pot on sauté and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato paste to the soup along with the diced tomatoes.
- Cook a batch of rice. Spoon a mound of rice into wide serving bowls and ladle soup around the rice. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
- For more garlic flavor, use 2 to 4 medium cloves.
- For a heartier version, add meat to the soup. Add diced ham or smoked sausage, or add some diced cooked chicken along with the tomatoes.