This simple lentil soup is one of our favorite family meals. It is easy to prepare, inexpensive, and healthy!
We started eating the “Amy’s Lentil Soup” a couple of years ago, but we needed it in much larger quantities than 12 oz. soup cans. It turns out that lentil soup has very few ingredients and requires very little preparation. If you use homemade stock, the recipe costs around $4 and makes enough to fill a large 6 qt. slow cooker.
Lentils are a strong source of protein, fiber, iron (and many other minerals), making them a great base for a meatless meal. Homemade chicken stock will also add many important vitamins and minerals to your soup that are not found in store-bought stocks. (If you aren’t sure why homemade is so much better‚ check out this article.)
Though I usually use homemade chicken stock as the base, the recipe can easily be made vegan by substituting vegetable broth or water. Homemade chicken stock naturally has some fat in it, which enhances the flavor. So, if I use store-bought stock or water, I add a splash of olive oil to the recipe as well.
We like to eat our lentil soup with homemade whole wheat bread and salad.
Simple Lentil Soup:
4 c. dry lentils
2 c. chopped carrot
1 chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp. thyme
16 c. homemade chicken stock (or veggie stock, water, or combo)
Salt to taste
Use a food chopper or food processor to quickly chop the vegetables. Dump everything into a large slow cooker in the morning and turn it on. Dinner prep in less than 10 minutes!
If you cannot fit all of the liquid into the crock-pot at first, hold back 4 cups, wait a couple of hours until the lentils have absorbed some of the liquid, and pour it in then.
The other great thing about this soup is that it can be dehydrated for camping/backpacking trips or gifts! All of the vegetables must be chopped into fine pieces so that it dehydrates evenly. I cook the soup a bit longer than usual until it has a thicker consistency (like mashed potatoes). Then I scoop the thick soup onto parchment paper lined trays, spread it evenly, and leave it in the dehydrator until it is dry and crumbled. It can be reconstituted at a 1:1 ratio with hot water and will stay fresh in vacuum sealed containers for several months.