It looks a little dry because it was the next day, but I just added some water and it was back to normal soup deliciousness!
Here it is, simmering in the crockpot.
It’s been extremely cold and wet lately, and I’d been craving some hearty lentil soup. My ultimate version is one of those Progresso cans of vegetable-lentil, but I made my own, and I wasn’t disappointed. This is far better than anything in a can.
I made this in my crockpot. Below are the directions for a crockpot and stovetop method. If you’ve never had a crockpot, you need to buy one. They are inexpensive and extremely convenient!
- 1/2 cup dry green lentils, rinsed
- 1 half yellow or white onion
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 carrot, chopped into coins
- 1 bunch of celery, chopped or sliced thinly
- 3-4 cups of baby spinach
- 1 small can of crushed tomato
- 1 generous splash of balsamic vinegar
- 1 half lemon- juiced
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- pinch cumin
- 1 cup hot vegetable broth
- 1 cup hot water
- soy sour cream for serving
- olive oil
- Sautee garlic and onion in a pan with olive oil on the stovetop until browned, then add to the crockpot with a generous smattering of olive oil
- Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook on the longest setting with the highest heat. If you cook with low heat, use the longest setting possible.
- If you use the stove top, cook on medium low for several hours, or until the lentils are soft, adding water as you go.
- For both methods: the soup is done once the lentils are soft. Keep adding water or broth if the soup dries out as you’re waiting for the lentils to soften.
- at the end, add more salt, vinegar or lemon juice to taste.
Once lentils are soft, serve with a dollop of soy sour cream, or plain greek yogurt, if you’re ovo-lacto. 🙂
NOTE: This method makes the lentils end up with a little crispness, though still fully cooked. If you like your lentils all the way soft and almost mush, cook the lentils in water for 10 hrs on low the day before, then proceed with the recipe as-is. I prefer them to maintain their structure, I don’t like mushy lentils.