by Olena

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
4.9 from 26 votes

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

When it’s cold outside, there is nothing more satisfying than hearty, flavorful soup. Set and forget vegetarian Slow Cooker Lentil Soup is high in plant based protein, fiber and easy to make in the crockpot. 

We absolutely love-love-love easy and satisfying lentil soups like red lentil soup, lentil spinach soup and Instant Pot lentil soup!

lentil soup made in crock pot in a bowl for serving with a gray linen and crusty brown bread

CrockPot Lentil Soup

This slow cooker lentil soup is made up of 100% vegetables. You would never guess this soup is vegan because it’s so flavorful and filling. My kids call it “the best soup ever” and that is before I top their bowls with tortilla chips!

Lentil soup crock pot recipe is like the best veggie soup that cleans out your produce drawers. Just like borscht – the longer it cooks, the better it gets- prep it in the evening, and just plug in the slow cooker as you head out the door in the morning!

Browse my slow cooker or Instant Pot soup collections to make healthy soups all season long.

Why Make Lentil Vegetable Soup?

  • Budget friendly: Lentils are a low priced plant based protein, average price being around $2 or less per pound!
  • Nutritious: Lentils are high in fiber, low in fat and packed with a host of nutrients like folate, iron and potassium.
  • Special dietary needs approved: Vegan, plant based, gluten-free and dairy free! 
  • Meal prep: Refrigerate up to 5 days, freeze for 3 months or even make a freezer meal to cook ‘fresh’ later!
  • Meatless Monday: Save on grocery costs, environmentally friendly and so many healthy benefits! 
  • Wholesome and satisfying: Hearty root vegetables, ‘meaty’ lentils and a splash of soy sauce for umami flavor!
  • Easy to make: No ingredient list a mile long here, simple ingredients are actually what makes this soup stand out! 
  • Set and forget: Prep, set, walk out the door and then come home to a dinner ready to be served! 

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Ingredients for lentil soup crock pot are simple and are similar to how I make Instant Pot lentil soup.

  • Green or brown lentils: Lentils are just so easy to cook, are full of fiber and protein, and come out delicious with simple seasonings. You can use red lentils, just keep in mind they will fall apart a lot.

To soak or not soak lentils? Since lentils are a smaller legume with a thin skin, tend to cook fast and do not contain sulfur they do not need to be soaked – although, I always recommend rinsing in cold water!

  • Vegetables: Carrots, celery, corn (adds a touch of sweetness) and hearty potatoes.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, oregano, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves. My secret ingredient is soy sauce (I use Bragg liquid aminos) which gives an umami flavor to the soup.
  • Broth: Vegetable broth or organic vegetable bouillon cubes.
  • Garnishes: Green onion, cilantro, parsley, Greek yogurt, cheese, tortilla chips…really whatever you like or have on hand.

If you would like lentil vegetable soup with more protein, make my chicken lentil soup recipe.

How to Make Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

There is a full recipe card below for the lentil potato soup.

  • Prep: The only prep work is to dice the vegetables. Transfer them to a crock pot as you chop. You don’t even have to sauté the onions.
  • Combine: Dump veggies, lentils, seasonings and water/broth into a large slow cooker. No need to stir but if you do, that’s fine!
  • Cook: Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or on High for 4-5 hours. The longer, the better as flavor develops with time and green lentils hold their shape quite well.
  • Blend: Make this soup creamy using an immersion blender. First, remove the bay leaves and peppercorns. Then pulse a few times until you get the desired texture.

While you can opt to leave this lentil soup more broth based without blending, having an immersion blender in your kitchen repertoire comes in handy when making healthy chicken wild rice soup, butternut squash soup and sun dried tomato soup!

Optional Add-Ins and Variations

  • Tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes could all be added for another layer of ‘flavor’ and might also slow the breakdown of lentils. Choose low sodium or no salt added.
  • Use sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes
  • Broth: Chicken broth or beef broth can be substituted.
  • Lower carb: Use 1/2 cauliflower, 1/2 potatoes for a still hearty lentil potato soup.
  • Add some greens: Chopped spinach or kale can be stirred in at the very end.
  • Use fresh ground black pepper instead of peppercorns.
  • Mix and match your spices: Smoked paprika, marjoram or Italian seasoning would all taste great!
  • Parmesan rind: If you are not vegetarian/vegan, adding a parmesan rind to the slow cooker can add so much flavor!
  • Additional protein: Cooked and diced ham, cooked chopped bacon or sliced turkey/chicken/kielbasa sausage could all be added to cook with this crock pot lentil soup.

Garnishes and ‘soup’ finishers can really take this lentil vegetable soup to another level! A squirt of lemon or red wine vinegar, finely chopped parsley or cilantro, Greek yogurt and freshly grated parmesan are just a few options!

Tips for Best Results

  • Saute onion with vegetables and seasonings for 2-3 minutes on the stovetop to bring out depth of flavor.
  • Use keep warm function after cooking time to deter overcooking your lentils.
  • Thick and creamy really is best for this soup. If you do not have an immersion blender, remove 1 cup of soup from slow cooker, blend in blender, stir back in soup. You could do this until you reach desired creaminess.
  • Cornstarch slurry: Alternately, if you do not have any type of blender, you can make a cornstarch slurry with cold water and cornstarch, stir into soup and let thicken.
  • Use small food processor to save time chopping, use pulse function so your vegetables are chopped in larger pieces.
  • Broth: Alternatively you can use 2 organic low sodium vegetable bouillon cubes (like GoBio brand sold in many grocery stores) and 9 cups of water. All broth’s taste slightly different, so use a brand you know and love!
  • Lentils: You can use red lentils, just keep in mind they will fall apart a lot, you may not even need a blender! 
  • Size of crockpot: I used a standard size around 6 quarts. If you only have a smaller sized crockpot, halve the recipe.

FAQs

Do you have to soak lentils before slow cooking?

While it is recommended to always rinse your lentils before cooking to remove any dust/debris, it is not necessary to soak them before slow cooking because of their smaller size and thinner ‘skin’. Lentils, unlike many of their legume family members, do not contain sulfur. Sulfur is the main reason beans get soaked – as it can aid in digestion, reduce gas etc.

Can I overcook lentils?

While slow cooking your lentils is a great way to prevent them from overcooking, it can happen. Adhere to the cooking times listed in this recipe as they have been tested over and over as well as wait to add additional salt or acids (lemon, vinegar) until right before serving.

Why are my lentils not softening?

The most probable culprit is that your lentils are ‘old’. Check the date they were packaged and/or how long you have had them open in your pantry.

How do you eat lentils everyday?

There are a lot of ways you can mix it up to enjoy lentils. You could make this lentil potato soup, lentil casserole with mushrooms (or a Santa Fe version), green lentil curry, a Thai lentil curry or even just add some cooked lentils to salad, as a topping on pizza, include in rice bowls and more!

Why is lentil soup so good for you?

Lentils are an excellent source of plant based protein, as well as they are low fat, low calorie yet high in fiber! They are rich in minerals and a staple in many vegetarian diets as well as middle eastern cuisine.

Can I lose weight eating lentils?

This really will vary from person to person, but lentils are a great source of fiber, which can help you feel full longer and is great for digestive health.

Serving Reccomendations

Making This Soup in Advance

Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Lentil soup freezes well for up to 3 months.

Freezer Meal: Yes, you can make this into a freezer meal!

  • Combine: In a large Ziploc bag, add all the ingredients (except for the broth/water and the garnishes).
  • Freeze: Make sure to release as much air out as possible, seal the bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw: When you are ready to enjoy this soup, just thaw the freezer bag in a bowl/sink of hot water for 10 minutes
  • Cook: Transfer to a slow cooker, add broth/water and cook as per recipes instructions plus 1 hour.

Check out my full list of healthy freezer meals and meal prep 5,10,15 or 20 meals. I’m obsessed!

Make Ahead: I love that you can prep this soup ahead of time. Just add all the ingredients (except for the garnishes) into a container (or ziploc bag, slow cooker insert etc). Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Cook as per recipe instructions.

More Soup and Stew Recipes

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup {Easy, Healthy!}

When it’s cold outside, there is nothing more satisfying than hearty, flavorful soup. Set and forget vegetarian Slow Cooker Lentil Soup is high in plant based protein, fiber and easy to make in the crockpot. 
4.93 from 26 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 7 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 277kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large slow cooker, add onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn, lentils, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, soy sauce, bay leaves, peppercorns and vegetable broth. No need to stir.
    Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
  • Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or on High for 4-5 hours (with this soup longer is better).
    Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
  • Discard bay leaves and peppercorns. Using an immersion blender, pulse a few times until desired texture – I like creamy with chunks.
    Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
  • Garnish with herbs and Parmesan cheese/plain yogurt/tortillas chips and serve hot.
    Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

    Freezer Meal: In a large Ziploc bag, add all ingredients (except broth (water) and garnishes), release out air as much as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in a bowl/sink with hot water for 10 minutes, transfer to slow cooker, add water and cook as per instructions + 1 hour.

      Make Ahead: In a large air tight container, Ziploc bag, bowl with a lid or slow cooker’s insert, add all ingredients (except garnishes) and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Cook as per instructions.

        Notes

        • Broth: Alternatively you can use 2 organic low sodium vegetable bouillon cubes (like GoBio brand sold in many grocery stores) and 9 cups of water. Chicken or beef broth can be used.
        • Lentils: You can use red lentils, just keep in mind they will fall apart a lot.
        • Size of crockpot: I used a standard size around 6 quarts. If you only have a smaller sized crockpot, you will need to cut the recipe in half.
        • Saute onion with vegetables and seasonings for 2-3 minutes on the stovetop to bring out depth of flavor.
        • Use keep warm function after cooking time to deter overcooking your lentils.
        • Thick and creamy really is best for this soup. If you do not have an immersion blender, remove 1 cup of soup from slow cooker, blend in blender, stir back in soup. You could do this until you reach desired creaminess.
        • Cornstarch slurry: Alternately, if you do not have any type of blender, you can make a cornstarch slurry with cold water and cornstarch, stir into soup and let thicken.
        • Use small food processor to save time chopping, use pulse function so your vegetables are chopped in larger pieces.
        • Tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes could all be added – choose low sodium. 
        • Use sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes
        • Lower carb: Use 1/2 cauliflower, 1/2 potatoes.
        • Add some greens: Chopped spinach or kale can be stirred in at the very end.
        • Use fresh ground black pepper instead of peppercorns.
        • Mix and match your spices: Smoked paprika, marjoram or Italian seasoning would all taste great!
        • Parmesan rind: Add while cooking.
        • Additional protein: Cooked and diced ham, cooked chopped bacon or sliced turkey/chicken/kielbasa sausage could all be added to cook with this crock pot lentil soup.
        See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

        Nutrition

        Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 416mg | Potassium: 1051mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4004IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 4mg
        Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

        Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes anywhere including social media, print and all world wide web. Nutritional info is provided for informational purposes only and to the best knowledge.

        86 comments on “Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

        Our “happiness” software automatically deletes any comments of racial, politicial, religious or any offensive nature without publishing, so we can keep on happily cooking delicious recipes for you. For substitutions please refer to extensive recipe post and recipe card notes. If you don't see an answer, you are welcome to try your version and let us know how it went as recipes are posted only as tested. Comments may take up to 24-48 hours to reply. Please see our full comment policy.:).

        Leave a Reply

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

        Recipe Rating




        This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

        1. 5 stars
          Made this recipe and it came out delicious! Thanks so much. I never really experiment with lentils much but I have already made this twice and love the flavor!

        2. 5 stars
          Very tasty. I was worried about the soy sauce but it came out great! Thanks! I also used 7 cups of low sodium chicken stock because I saw another review that said 9 was too much and 7 was all I had at home and it came out great.

        3. 5 stars
          I made this for dinner tonight. My wife and I both loved it. It was delicious! Adding this to our regular rotation.

        4. 5 stars
          So good! My husband was skeptical when I told him I was making it but yet he had two big bowls. The only adjustment I had to make was use part vegetable broth and part chicken since that’s what I had on hand. Will definitely be making this again!

        5. I haven’t made this yet… just wanted to say, this is one of the most well-written, thought out, helpful online recipes I have ever come across. Your ads didn’t overwhelm or cause the page to load slowly. You offered SO many tips, including size of crockpot, substitutions, how to freeze/store. I will definitely be coming to your site more often because of this. Thank you.

        6. I really like the flavour of this soup, however it was way too liquid-y with 9 cups of stock. I added two cornstarch mixtures mixes and it still didn’t do much. I would definitely make this again with less liquid.

          1. Yes! I wrote the recipe with vegetable broth to make this soup truly vegetarian. But any type of broth will work great!

        7. 5 stars
          Hi, this is a great soup thank you. Can it also be made using Split peas and Pearl Barley. I love all these type of things. Thank you

        8. 5 stars
          So fragrant, the spices really had my house smelling divine. My husband loved this stew and asked me to make it again. We didn’t blend it and just ate it more as chunky stew which was also good.

        9. 5 stars
          Made this today for my family. Wanted to reduce the carbs so left out the potatoes and corn and reduced the liquid by half. Tasted wonderful. Garnished afterwards with small amount of sour cream and cilantro.

        10. I have it in my slow cooker cooking right now I cannot wait to try it tonight. Will post a full review once it’s done. I didn’t use corn but did the other veggies.

            1. 4 stars
              wasn’t as thick as I’m used to but it was very good. My whole family enjoyed it.
              But the next day I added a bit more lentils and warmed it up on the stove in a soup pot and it thickened right up. I think next time I make it I’ll use a bit less water. What would you suggest?

              1. Not quite sure why it wasn’t thick. You can use your immersion blender to thicken up the soup.

        11. Do you use canned lentils? Having trouble finding canned green lentils. Are they canned or just a regular bag of lentils?

        12. 5 stars
          Really good flavor. The last time I made this I used 2c potatoes and 2c cauliflower (that’s what I had) which added a nice mix of texture. Also sometimes if I want a little bit of a different taste I’ll add about 2 tbsp of lemon juice.

        13. 5 stars
          I’ve made this recipe a couple times and it’s already become a favourite within the family. I’ve played around with it a bit with the vegetables available, and the pumpkin definitely gives it the most flavour. Is very easy to put on in the morning and forget about in the evening, and is even better the next day for lunch. Definitely a keeper!

        14. 5 stars
          I made this exactly as in the recipe except I added 3 T of tomato paste, which slows the breakdown of the lentils and adds a bit of body to the soup. The ingredients wouldn’t fit in my large crockpot, so I used (for the first time) the slow cooker setting on my Instant Pot.
          Many of the lentils dishes I cook are Indian type recipes, and I was looking for something without Indian spices.
          We loved this soup and I will be making it again and again. Thank you so much for this delicious, and different, recipe.

        15. 5 stars
          Another winner Olena ! My husband scored it an #8 !
          I diced and added shenka ( ham ).
          I used the spice summer savory instead of thyme,it has
          a lighter taste to it.
          Will keep you posted when I make your next soup recipe.
          Keep up the great recipe collection of yours.
          Dobryy den.

        16. 5 stars
          I highly recommend this recipe. Very easy. And delicious. Trying to do more plant based recipes. This is a keeper. Liked that there weren’t any unusual ingredients. The only thing I changed was I only used one onion.

        17. 5 stars
          OH MYLANTA! This is soooooo good! I added spinach to the recipe and served with vegan cheese and avocado on top. So delicious and LOVE that there is no salt added. Will make again FOR SURE!

        18. 5 stars
          I made this last night and it is amazing. I can’t believe how good it tastes and I didn’t add salt either. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes. I didn’t have oregano and only 1/2 the thyme needed and it still tastes great. I can’t wait to try your other recipes.

          1. Awe, you are so welcome! So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes! Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great weekend!

        19. Would red lentils work okay or does it need to be green?

          Also, do your instant pot recipes translate to a slow cooker?

        20. Looks delicious! Does this recipe fit in a 6 quart or 8 quart crock pot? Five people are planning to make this recipe this week for a soup kitchen to feed the homeless but some of us only have 6 quart pots…will this recipe fit in that size?

        21. I’m wondering if you can just season with black pepper instead of using the peppercorns as I never have them . Can you suggest a good amount to use if so? Thanks. I’m almost 60 and just starting to eat vegan. I love soups so I’ll be making lots!!

          1. Yes, for sure. To taste. Just crack a bit, stir and taste. Repeat if necessary.:)
            Eating less animal products is next best thing you can do for your health!

        22. Olena, you’re hot stuff!! Interesting the no-salt bouillon cubes. I’ll try them. and this fab recipe and report back. Big wow!

        23. Hi Olena, Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes. I am not a cook but I really need to start being better at it. This is probably a stupid question but I need to ask. The recipe says to use 9 cups of vegetable broth but you said you used 2 organic vegetable cubes. Does that mean that I would use 2 vegetable cubes and just add 9 cups of water? See I told you I don’t cook lol.

          1. Hi Lauri. No ta stupid question, in fact I got so many questions about cubes, I will add that option to a recipe. Yes, correct – 2 cubes + 9 cups of water. On a package with cubes there are insructions how to dilute cubes, mine say 3 cups of water, but that is approximate, 1 more or less wouldn’t matter.

        24. Oh my! This looks so delicious. I already pinned this recipe. When the cooler weather comes, this will be the first soup I make to warm us up. I really enjoy your recipes and blog. Thank you for all you do and for keeping it real. It’s very refreshing!?

        25. How many bouillon cubes do you use for this recipe? I don’t usually use those, but just bought some at the grocery store. Also, I noticed they had some regular bouillon and then some bouillon without salt added. Which do you use? I just bought the regular ones. Thanks. Looks great! Love lentils. I also make your green lentil curry recipe in my slow cooker 🙂

        26. This looks delicious! Just a quick question. The recipe says to remove the bay leaves and peppercorns and onion. Did you really mean the onion?? Thanks, Joanna

        The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

        This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy. ifoodreal.com is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!