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Healthy Meal Options: Lentil Soup in a Slow Cooker

Cynthia is a digital marketer, writer, and artist. She writes about a variety of topics, especially languages, art and culture.

Slow-cooked lentil soup.  Mmmm.

Slow-cooked lentil soup. Mmmm.

It's a cold winter's day. The chair by the fire is calling your name and you're anxious to get back to that book. Yet, dinner is on your mind. It's hours away, but the preparations need to start now to be ready in time.

The solution? Lentil soup in the slow cooker. It's like having your cake and eating it, too. After preparing all the ingredients, you'll have time to curl up by the fire and warm those toes. You'll find out what happens on page 247 in your paperback novel because you'll have the afternoon to read instead of toiling over the stove. It's almost like...someone else cooked dinner.

More About Lentils

  • This legume has been around for a long time. The Old Testament talks about Esau and Jacob exchanging a bowl of lentil soup.
  • It has been in the Middle East for over 8000 years.
  • It is high in folate, iron and protein.
  • Unlike beans, lentils don't have to be soaked prior to cooking.
  • They exist in a variety of colors, but you usually see green or brown in the US because they retain their color and texture really well after cooking.

Preparing Lentils

Dry lentils come in packaged bags. Before washing, separate out any warped or damaged lentils, small stones or other debris. Use a strainer and rinse them well with water.

Get those onions and carrots ready.  They're the first to go in the soup.

Get those onions and carrots ready. They're the first to go in the soup.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger root, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bag of dry lentils (16 oz.)
  • 1 package of hot dogs, sliced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • more salt and cracked peppercorns to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Variations:

Isn't it maddening when you go to make something, and you find that you don't have all the ingredients?

  • Instead of garlic, you can use garlic salt, and add less regular salt
  • "Veggie dogs" work just as well as regular hot dogs
  • Instead of sage, you can try adding a little parsley
  • You can always add other vegetables: celery, squash, and water chestnuts are particularly good

Instructions

  1. Load all ingredients except parmesan cheese into slow cooker.
  2. Set to high and cook for 4 hours.
  3. Spoon into bowls with a ladle and garnish with the Parmesan cheese.
  4. Serve with some homemade bread if you wish.
Load all the ingredients into the slow cooker.

Load all the ingredients into the slow cooker.

Save Time

Save the scraps from your vegetables and put in a freezer bag. Store them in the freezer. When the freezer bag gets full, use those vegetables to make easy vegetable broth.

Get Rid of Garlic Smell

After cutting garlic, onions and gingerroot, your hands often carry the smell of those vegetables. Solve that by running your hands over real silver. For some reason, it all but reduces the leftover smell on your hands!

Why Use a Crock Pot

You already know that using a slow cooker saves time, but there are so many other reasons to use one!

  • You can save a lot of energy. It's a green proposition!
  • It makes the house smell incredible. There's nothing like coming home from work to the home-cooked aroma of lentils or beans in the air.
  • Slow-cooked foods have a lot of flavor.
  • They are relatively inexpensive to purchase.
  • They're ideal for the culinary-challenged types among us. The slow-cooking actions release and infuse spices into the food and allow the food to percolate and absorb them.
  • Clean-up is a snap. You use hardly any dishes during preparation and even when you serve the food, you're not having to use a lot of extra dishes - a soup bowl and a bread plate are all you need.
  • You don't have to slave over a stove: no stirring, mixing, or watching. You can fix your meal, and pretty much forget about it until serving time. (Sometimes I can't resist a good stir every now and then, but if I'm not home, it doesn't matter.)

© 2011 Cynthia Calhoun

Comments

Glen Rix from UK on August 05, 2017:

Love your introduction to this recipe. Who could resist after reading it! Lentil soup is a favourite in my house on a wintry day - hot dogs are a surprising variation.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on September 12, 2012:

Mekenzie - Thank you for stopping by! :) Yeah, you can add organic hot dogs or even veggie links - I love all those options. The ginger is really subtle, but it sort of dimensionalizes the taste...gives it more depth somehow. I can't wait for you to try this!

Esmeowl12 - MMM, I hope you enjoy it! I love this lentil soup - it's one of my winter staples. :)

Tammy - hehe, I think this was my first HOTD on HubPages, hehe. Thank you so much for sharing. You are a gem. I am also in love with my crockpot. Hehe. Hubhugs!

Newusedcarssacram - thank you. :)

newusedcarssacram from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A on September 12, 2012:

It looks nice...Going to try this.

Tammy from North Carolina on September 11, 2012:

I don't know how on Earth I missed this as the Hub of the Day. This is fabulous! I love all sorts of bean and lentil soup and the crock pot recipe is even more appealing. Outstanding work on this hub!

Cindy A Johnson from Sevierville, TN on September 11, 2012:

What a timely thing that I saw this great hub. I was planning to make some kind of soup this week and just happen to have some lentils! Guess what's on the menu tomorrow night? Yum, yum!

Susan Ream from Michigan on September 11, 2012:

Great Hub and recipe. I have always liked lentils and have made chili and soups out of them for years. The ginger in this recipe gives it a twist I can't quite imagine yet .. but I'm going to try it.

I like the idea of hot dogs added. To keep this recipe really healthy I would add organic hot dogs from Costco.

Thank you for sharing this!

Blessings!

Mekenzie

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on September 11, 2012:

Sharon - I'm so glad you liked these tips! Kielbasi? Hmm, I haven't tried that. I'll go to your hubs and see if I can find some information on that. :D Hehe. That bean soup sounds great! Hubhugs!

Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on September 11, 2012:

I loved your opening introduction. Sounds so nice and cozy. This recipe looks great. I love that you add hotdogs. I make a bean soup where I add Eckrich skinless kielbasi. To me, it is so much easier than using a ham bone. I love the addition of ginger root too. So now, I must go find a piece of real silver to keep nearby in the kitchen. I love that tip too.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on September 11, 2012:

Vicki - MMM, lentils. I didn't eat them much when I was growing up, but now, I love to try to incorporate them more into my diet. They're yummy and good for you. :) Hubhugs!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on September 11, 2012:

I've never really known what to do with lentils. Now I do! I love my slow cooker, too! Great recipe. Many votes!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on September 11, 2012:

Kelley - Yum! It is so yummy! Let me know how you do like it. :D

Audrey - YUM! Try it, try it! It's really good. :)

Audrey Howitt from California on September 11, 2012:

Yummy!! This looks wonderful!

kelleyward on September 11, 2012:

This looks delicious. Can't wait to try it soon. My husband loves lentils. Voted up and given 5 stars. Also shared. Kelley

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on June 01, 2012:

Mhatter99 - I love lentils, too. This is one of my favorite recipes. :)

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on May 31, 2012:

love (like) lentil. always on the look out

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on February 24, 2012:

teaches12345, this is one of my favorite all-time recipes. I love lentils. Uh-oh. Now you're making me have a craving for it. Haha. Thanks for stopping by!

Dianna Mendez on February 24, 2012:

This is another option for our family as we are trying to go meatless a couple of times a week. Lentils are a good source of protein and tasty. We use our crockpot regularly and yes, the home smells incredible. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on February 06, 2012:

I love this soup recipe, too. Thanks, alocsin. If you make it, let me know what you think. :)

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 06, 2012:

Love lentil dishes. Voting this Up and Useful.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 10, 2012:

Drwjw1 - You're right. That's one of the things I love about lentils - they are yummy and full of protein.

Natalie - that crock pot is my lifesaver in the winter. It is so easy and scrumptious to start a meal, leave it and have it ready and waiting when you want it. I love not standing over the stove. I am quite busy and it really helps to "fix it and forget it". :)

NatalieClark from Southern California on January 10, 2012:

Ive been married for 6 years and I barely realized how wonderful the crock pot really is. Im always complaining about the amount of dishes I have to clean after every meal or how my pots and pans dont fit well on the stove. Then to discover my crock pot has been there the whole time. My answer to all my problems has been there the whole time. Thank you for sharing your recipe and cannot wait to learn more.

Drwjw1 from Rocky Hill on January 10, 2012:

Lentils are high in fiber and a good source of protein. A very nutritious meal on a cold winter day...

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 07, 2012:

swayaminfotech - thanks for stopping by! :)

swayaminfotech on January 07, 2012:

Point out little details that may not be noticeable at first, but become clear after reading your description.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 03, 2012:

DzyMsLizzy - I *love* your idea of freezing it into little single servings - it would be so easy to take for lunch. I think I'm going to have to use that idea. :) French Onion soup is one of my favorites!!! Thanks for the votes!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on January 03, 2012:

Congrats on Hub of the Day!

MMmm... I love lentil soup..but my husband does not...so I rarely make it because I cannot eat a whole batch all by myself. (I don't add any meat, and I don't think I'd even use veggie dogs--I put them in mac and cheese, but it doesn't appeal to me for lentil soup.)

**Bright Idea Lightbulb Goes Off!** You can cook a lot in a slow cooker, then package single-servings for the freezer, and pop in the microwave when needed.

Also, save the extra dish of the bread plate, and plop the French bread right on top of the soup and add another sprinkle of cheese. Traditional French Onion Soup is served this way--no law says you can't do the same with other soups!

Great hub--voted up, interesting, useful and awesome!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 03, 2012:

I'm so glad people are liking the lentils. :)

Moiragallaga - Crock pots are the *secret* to winter cooking. :)

platinumOwl4 - Yes, with my crock pot I can read and write to my heart's content while still pretending I slaved for hours. Hehe.

truthfornow - do enjoy a hot cup of soup. It's so cold right now. Brrr.

rosika - thank you for stopping by. Let me know how they turn out - I love making them in any season, too.

twentyfive - oh, yes, crock pot cooking spells love!

wordscribe43 - you may never go back to Progresso once you've made them in the crock pot. ;)

Serena - Mmm. Bean soup, lentils, apple slices, chicken noodle - I make them all in the Dutch oven or the crock pot. Thank you so much for your comments. :)

Serena Gabriel on January 03, 2012:

This sounds pretty good! Never thought of putting my lentils in the crock pot before! I love bean soup this time of year. This looks like a great recipe. Thanks for the recipe and the ideas!

Accolades!

Elsie Nelson from Pacific Northwest, USA on January 02, 2012:

This looks so good. I love lentils, but I must confess I have been lazy and have eaten the soup courtesy Progresso. Anyway, this looks easy enough. The hot dogs just might be the ticket for getting my kids to take the plunge. Congrats for hub of the day, well deserved.

twentyfive on January 02, 2012:

oh wow this is cooked with love :) Thank you for sharing

rosika on January 02, 2012:

very different way of cooking lentils...I love eating lentil soup in any season and your idea will give my lentils a different taste now...Thanks for sharing!

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on January 02, 2012:

There is nothing better than a cup of hot soup on a cold day. Everyone has such good suggestions. Thanks.

platinumOwl4 on January 02, 2012:

This is a great way to have a great meal without interrupting your reading. I just purchased Merchant Kings and I am unable to put it down. Love this idea.

Moira Garcia Gallaga from Lisbon, Portugal on January 02, 2012:

Congrats on hub of the day cclitgirl. My husband and I love lentil soup, but we have a little trouble when it comes to cooking dishes that involves beans. I think I should seriously consider your recommendation to start using a crock pot. Thanks for sharing your recipe and insights in cooking lentil soup.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

Thanks, mljdgulley354. Mmmm...it's a very cold night out there tonight! Stay warm! :)

Billrrr - Mmm. I like your suggestions. Well, if it makes you feel better, I used organic hotdogs. But, I'll try with pasta and tomato sauce, too. Great suggestions.

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on January 02, 2012:

Ditch the hotdogs...they are poison. Way too much salt and other bad things. Veggie dogs are better, but check the salt.

Try your Lentils Italian Style, with pasta and perhaps tomato sauce.

mljdgulley354 on January 02, 2012:

Great job cclitgirl. congratulations on hub of the day. Lentils soup is a wonderful cold night meal along with a loaf of homemade bread.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

J.S. - Thank you for stopping by and reading. I had only discovered ginger a few years ago but now I cook and make tea with it very often. Thank you for the vote. :)

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on January 02, 2012:

This sounds both delicious and healthy! I am trying to get used to Ginger Root as my wife cooks with ginger quite often. I don't think I have ever tried lentils but I have heard of them. I will save this for that cold day when I want something nutritious and hot! I also like how you mention freezing extra vegetables for later use in a soup broth. Great idea! Congrats on the Hub of the Day! Voted up!

JSMatthew~

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

Aww...I am feeling some HubLove! Thanks so much everyone for your responses!

Nancy - let me know how the silver/garlic remedy works for you. :)

Peanutritious - thank you for such nice comments.

Chaplinspeaks - your hub recipe helped to inspire me to write this recipe. :D Congrats back to you on your Hubs of the Day!

Glassvisage - your slow cooker will be a very good friend to you in the winter. :)

pstraubie48 - mmm...split pea soup sounds good, too. I challenge you to a split pea hub.

Dirt Farmer - I really like that name. If only I'd been a little more creative with mine. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Homesteadbound - you're my hero. You awesome hubber, you! Congrats on being the #1 2011 Hubber!!!!

barryrutherford - no worries. Just get a great, big seasoned pan and cook for about 30 mins on med-high heat until lentils are done.

L.L.Woodard - my mother-in-law gave me a slow cooker when I got married 10 years ago - and I've used it as a staple in my kitchen ever since. Mmmmm...thanks for stopping by!

L.L. Woodard from Oklahoma City on January 02, 2012:

I recently read that slow cookers are "making a comeback." I must be ought of touch, because my slow cooker never stopped being a valuable asset in my kitchen. Have made lentil soup in the slow cooker and wouldn't make it any other way.

Barry Rutherford from Queensland Australia on January 02, 2012:

No woods stove but no room for any more kitchen gadgets like a slow cooker...

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on January 02, 2012:

This sounds really yummy. I am bookmarking for making very soon. Congrats on hub of the day!

Jill Spencer from United States on January 02, 2012:

Really well done. Congrats on HOTD!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 02, 2012:

Yum...I can almost taste it! Love soup and love the fact that i can make it in my slow cooker. Tonite I am making split pea soup but this will be on the agenda for later in the week as soon as I can get what i need. Thanks for sharing this....winter and soup...like peanut butter and jelly!!!

glassvisage from Northern California on January 02, 2012:

Awesome! I just got a slow cooker (I think a lot of people did for the holiday...) and am so excited to start using it... Thanks for the recipe!

Sarah Johnson from Charleston, South Carolina on January 02, 2012:

Had to stop back by and say - Congratulations on Hub of the Day! You definitely deserved the award.

Tara Carbery from Cheshire, UK on January 02, 2012:

Nom nom! Lentil soup is so gorgeous and comforting. Just the thing for a winter's day. I'm going to invest in a slow cooker now. There's nothing like the smell of fresh coffee and a freshly cooked meal to greet you after a busy day. Well done. A well deserved hub of the day.

Nancy Owens from USA on January 02, 2012:

Congratulations on having this Hub chosen as Hub of the Day. You presented the information in such a warm and cozy way. I also enjoyed reading the tips for getting rid of garlic smell. I look forward to reading more of your work. Voted Up

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

Hehe, Ardie. You crack me up. You're not a dumb dumb - your an Awesome Hubber. :) I continue to be inspired by you. I just love your hubs!

Watch out for that sauerkraut. Hehe. Spray with some vinegar, wait 5 mins and it should come off. :D

Sondra from Neverland on January 02, 2012:

Im such a dumb dumb - I missed it because today's the day its Hub of the Day.

Sondra from Neverland on January 02, 2012:

How did I miss this as Hub of the Day?! I cannot wait to make this in my slow cooker as soon as I get the icky sauerkraut out of it :D

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

barryrutherford - hmmm. Do you have a woodstove? You can use a cast-iron dutch oven to make this meal - electricity free! Same thing - just stick all the ingredients in and let them simmer on the woodstove for a few hours. I would be interested to see how the cooking goes in a ceramic iron pot. :)

Barry Rutherford from Queensland Australia on January 02, 2012:

I was thinking about getting an ceramic iron pot like the french La Crouset or La chasseur rather than another electronic gadget. Any advice here? By the way well done with this hub!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

Moonlake - if you have a great Northern beans recipe, I'd love you to make a hub about it! I have all these frozen northern beans that were extras from a recipe I wasn't very excited about. I need to find a yummy recipe for them. :)

techygran - thank you so much for the facebook share. I really appreciate it. You're awesome and I hope you enjoy the soup.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 02, 2012:

mmm.... great hub recipe! I'm posting this on facebook because we sure are having the weather for a nice bowl of lentil soup!

moonlake from America on January 02, 2012:

I just put Northern beans in the slow cooker early this morning. Your recipe looks good. I love hot dogs. Congrats on the Hub Of The Day.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

Thank you, Sonshine625 and gogogo. I really hope you like it. :) Awww...I wish I could make everyone here a crockpot-full of lentil soup and some homemade bread and have you all over. ;)

gogogo on January 02, 2012:

Good hub going to try your recipe, congrats on hub of the day

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on January 02, 2012:

YAY! Congratulations on Hub of The Day! We should all enjoy a bowl of Lentil Soup today in honor of this fantastic hub!:)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

Thelma - Happy New Year! I can't wait for you to try this recipe. Let me know how it turns out. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

sen.sush23 - thank you for your input. Next time I make this, you gave me a great idea: I'm going to try it with coriander (cilantro) and sour cream on the side. Mmmmm.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

cardelean - thanks for reading. I hope you like the recipe. :0) I have chili in the slow cooker today. There's just something yummy about having soup ready when you get home.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

Kris, thanks for stopping by. :) There's nothing like warm soup ready when you get home in the winter. Yum.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on January 02, 2012:

Yummy!!! Sounds delicious. I have to try this recipe. Thanks for the lot of side information. Happy New Year 2012!!!

Sushmita from Kolkata, India on January 02, 2012:

I have a very similar recipe tucked away in my personal blog. I usually use parsley. Have you tried coriander leaves? You may find that interesting. Your Hub is very well written, particularly as you discuss the nutritional side of it and the detail about crock pot. I kind of snapped at the idea and want to try your other crock pot recipes.

cardelean from Michigan on January 02, 2012:

I love soup and I love using my slow cooker so this recipe is perfect! I'm bookmarking this recipe and making it this week when I head back to work. Thanks for the great recipe and congrats on the hub of the day!

Kris Heeter from Indiana on January 02, 2012:

Sounds like a great soup for a cold winter's night! I'm just starting to use lentils a little more so I might give this one a try:)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

chamilj - let me know how it turns out. :)

louis - try 'em! You just might like 'em. Hehe.

geebhim - yummy stuff. Thank you all for stopping by. Enjoy those lentils.

sangeeta verma from Ludhiana India on January 02, 2012:

congrats for the hub of the day!

yummy lentil soup!

louisquezada on January 02, 2012:

I have never tried lentils before but after reading this article I might just try and make some. Thank you for the recipe!

chamilj from Sri Lanka on January 02, 2012:

Looks great. Will try this soon. Thanks!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 28, 2011:

Mmm...that lingering aroma of slow cooked food emanating to the front door so that after a long day's work, you can come home, make some tea and eat a nice, yummy healthy dinner. You are right, Om. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Om Paramapoonya on December 28, 2011:

This recipe sounds delicious. I've got to try it soon. Also, I totally agree with you that cooking with a crock pot makes the house smell sooooooooo wonderful!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 28, 2011:

Hehe...Simone, if you need a slow cooker, look online. But once you get one, you'll never want to be without it in the winter. :)

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on December 28, 2011:

Oh my goodness, this soup would really hit the spot. I guess I should start shopping for a slow cooker!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 28, 2011:

I'm reading and reading and reading...and I don't have to worry about dinner! Haha, GoodLady, you're right!

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on December 28, 2011:

Delicious, thanks so much.

Now it's time to get back to that book!!!!!!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 28, 2011:

Glad you like it, Rusticliving/Lisa. :) Let me know how it turns out.

Liz Rayen from California on December 27, 2011:

yum yum yum.. More comfort soups! I will definately try this one! Thank you so much for sharing!

Blessings,

Lisa

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 27, 2011:

Glad you like it, sagecarter. :) Let me know if you try the recipe out. :)

sagecarter from Upstate New York on December 27, 2011:

Yummy! Good hub.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 27, 2011:

Mmm...lemon juice is another wonderful thing to add! Thanks, Sunshine. I'm going to try that as a variation when I make this again. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 27, 2011:

Wow! Thanks, ChaplinSpeaks. I also enjoy your hubs! Thanks for reading and for the comments and votes. :)

Sarah Johnson from Charleston, South Carolina on December 27, 2011:

This is a great hub, because it is more than a recipe. I like your commentary and side tips. The hot dogs were a surprise in this interesting recipe! I love lentils and will try this with the veggie dogs. Voted up and now following.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 27, 2011:

Love me some Lentil Soup! I cooked up a pot last week and still have leftovers! I use ham and always add a splash of lemon juice for added flavor (a trick of the trade I learned from my mom). Yummy hub!