Slow Cooker Lentil Soup #2

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup | In Jennie's Kitchen

It feels odd writing today. I’ve yet to exhale since casting my vote at 6:15am this morning. Too much is at stake to take it all for granted. Regardless of what predictions are cast by Nate Silver, or any other media, I will take my next mental breath once the results are in tonight. And so, writing about Slow Cooker Lentil Soup feels a bit trivial today, but it’s also a poignant recipe considering it’s taken 96 years to get here.

The election, that is, not the soup. Thankfully, the soup cooks in your sleep, or during the day while you’re at work. It all depends on when you decide to get it going. Want to wake up to a warm, hearty, yet light, soup to pack in thermoses for school lunch? Get this soup going at night before you hit the hay. Anticipating a busy day at the office, and need an easy dinner plan? Then set this soup up to cook while you’re at work.

Now, I realize lentils are not a likely candidate for the slow cooker. They cook much faster than any other bean, so theoretically, you can also cook this soup on the stove top. It only takes about 45 minutes to yield super tender lentils that still have some structure when you bite into them. Since working on this recipe, I’ve done it both ways, on the stove top and in the slow cooker. I like that kind of flexibility since life doesn’t always stick to the plan we have in our minds.

The slow cooker holds the advantage of it being a real hands off recipe. Just dump everything in the pot, set it to low, and walk away for 8 to 12 hours (yes, a wide, but forgiving range). The really important thing to know about this soup is that it’s simplicity acts as a chameleon of sorts. The ingredients are few—lentils, carrots, celery, onions. A bit of pesto to finish it off before serving, if you like.

This means the broth you choose to use plays a big role in the final flavor of this Slow Cooker Lentil Soup.

Notice, it’s purposefully not tomato based. I’ve been avoiding nightshade vegetables the last two months, and that’s what led me to create a new version of my lentil soup (my tomato based one is here). I’ve been using my homemade corn broth, and wow is all I can say. It’s amazing. Once my freezer stash of corn stock runs its course, I’ll switch to either my healing broth or vegetable broth. You can certainly use chicken or beef broth, too.

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup | In Jennie's Kitchen

For more slow cooker inspiration, click here to see my article 7 Surprising Things You Can Cook in a Crockpot for Parade magazine.

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup {broth based recipe}

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (100 grams) French lentils, picked over
  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth (I used corn broth)
  • 2 carrots, peeled & diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto (optional)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Add the lentils, broth, carrots, celery, and onion to your slow cooker.Season with salt. Be generous with the salt, especially if using store bought vegetable broth, which I find to be severely under-seasoned—I use anywhere from 1 to 2 teaspoons. Give everything a good stir.
  2. Set the slow cooker to LOW, and walk away for 8 to 12 hours. Okay, if you happen to be home, of course, you can peek, and give it a stir every few hours. The soup is ready to eat after 8 hours, but those extra 4 hours of simmering add a real depth of flavor (and means it’ll be ready just in time for dinner if you pop the ingredients in the slow cooker at 7:00am).
  3. When ready to serve, ladle the soup into deep bowls. Stir in a bit of pesto, Swirl a bit of olive oil over the soup, and enjoy!