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 simple 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 vegetable 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.

Corn, green lentils, carrots, celery, potatoes, soy sauce, spices, vegetable broth.

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, Instant Pot 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, or even just add some cooked lentils to healthy salad recipes, 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 in large bowl with garnish and spoon for serving
Slow cooker lentil soup with herbs in a bowl with a spoon and bread.

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

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. 
4.95 from 39 votes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 277
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 7 minutes

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.
  • Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or on High for 4-5 hours (with this soup longer is better).
  • Discard bay leaves and peppercorns. Using an immersion blender, pulse a few times until desired texture – I like creamy with chunks.
  • Garnish with herbs and Parmesan cheese/plain yogurt/tortillas chips and serve hot.

Notes

  • 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 airtight container, Ziploc bag, bowl with a lid or slow cooker insert, add all ingredients (except garnishes) and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Cook as per instructions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 416mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 6g
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

5 Secrets to Easy Healthy Dinners

Plus sign up for weekly emails with recipes to make your cooking stress free, delicious and healthy.

About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

Pin this recipe now to save it for later

Pin Recipe

You may also like

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My finicky husband and I both loved this! Really flavorful and the veggie flavors all come out. I did add some spicy chicken Italian sausage as I didn’t think my husband would try it without meat. Will be making this again!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight. My wife and I both loved it. It was delicious! Adding this to our regular rotation.

  5. 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




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