Crock Pot Lentil Soup

Did y’all have a great Halloween?  I’ve been under the weather lately, so my Luke Skywalker (son) and Superman (hubby) had to trick-or-treat without me.  They went to a Halloween party and I figured I should sit it out since I didn’t want to get anyone else sick.  But, that didn’t stop me from dressing up for the occasion!  I found that tank on Amazon and they had one for the guys too.  So funny!  I think I’m more excited about the extra hour of sleep though.  Felt so good and was really appreciated.  And just like that, we’re into November!!  I’m already looking forward to Thanksgiving!

Since my throat has been sore, I’ve been craving hot tea and soup lately.  I made a really good French Onion soup yesterday using a combo of recipes I found online and in my trusty America’s Text Kitchen cookbook.  I always start there when I’m making a new recipe because they give the best explanations for how and why to make the food taste better.  Seems like the key to a good French Onion soup is letting the onions cook for a long time (over an hour) so they get nice and dark brown and carmelized to deepen the flavor.

So, with soup on my mind, I wanted to share another favorite soup – Crock Pot Lentil Soup – I posted previously on Honey We’re Healthy.  If you didn’t know, for a couple of years, I used to feature my fitness and food content on that blog, but it got to be too much to keep up with two blogs, so now I’m sharing everything here.  You can check out my Fitness tab at the top of the page here and you can still visit Honey We’re Healthy and check out that content – I just don’t update it anymore.

My friend Karen makes the best, most flavorful soups and she loves to gift it to her friends (lucky us!), and it really feels like love in a bowl.  I’m not as proficient a soup maker as Karen, but I’d be proud to serve this to her! It’s delicious and really easy to make.  And pretty hearty, especially if you have it with crusty bread.

Crock Pot Lentil Soup with Mushrooms & Greens - such a flavorful, hearty soup!  Great for busy weekdays or slow weekends!

INGREDIENTS (from America’s Test Kitchen)
–  2 medium onions , minced
–  4 medium garlic cloves 
–  2 TBS Extra-virgin olive oil (for serving, optional)
–  1TBS tomato paste 
–  1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked, rinsed and minced
–  1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves , or 1 teaspoon dried
–  Salt and pepper to taste
–  4 cups vegetable broth
–  4 cups chicken broth
–  4 slices of bacon 
–  3 carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks 
–  12 ounces portobello mushroom caps, gills removed, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (I used sliced bella mushrooms)
–  1 cup brown or green lentils (1 cup), rinsed and picked over
–  1 bay leaf (not pictured)
–  8 oz. Swiss chard leaves only (I used collard greens) 
To maximize the flavor of the soup, I cooked the first few ingredients (onion, garlic, thyme, bacon, tomato sauce, porcini mushrooms) on the stove for about five minutes, but the recipe says you can have the same effect by microwaving those same ingredients for 5 minutes. 
Lentils are a great source of protein with about 3 grams of protein per tablespoon.

Stir both broths, bacon mixture, carrots, fresh mushrooms, lentils and bay leaf into slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low until the soup is thickened and the lentils are tender, 9 to 11 hours. (Alternatively, cover and cook on high for 5 to 7 hours.) I did the high heat. 
Crock Pot Lentil Soup with Mushrooms & Greens - such a flavorful, hearty soup!  Great for busy weekdays or slow weekends!
When the soup has about 30 minutes left to cook, remove the bacon and bay leaf, and add in the chopped swiss chard (I used greens because my store was out of chard).  

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At the end, season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle in a bit more olive oil.  I served ours with toasted French bread, but a healthier option would be to skip it or use whole wheat. 
Crock Pot Lentil Soup with Mushrooms & Greens - such a flavorful, hearty soup!  Great for busy weekdays or slow weekends!
Hope you enjoy! 
Crock Pot Lentil Soup with Mushrooms & Greens - such a flavorful, hearty soup!  Great for busy weekdays or slow weekends!
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  1. November 2, 2015 / 3:23 pm

    I adore my America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country cookbooks. You know it's going to work because they test everything so many times. Going to make this just for me, although I'll try to convince the other 4 in this house to eat it too. I'm glad you shared the recipe. Feel better!

  2. November 2, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    Hope you feel better soon!! Let the boys pamper the mama to be!!

  3. November 5, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    I make the same lentil soup, it's one of my favorite meals! I was just thinking it was time to make a pot of that or broccoli cheese soup.

  4. November 6, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! This looks yummy. I am in need of some new soup recipes, so will definitely give this a go

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