Lentil Minestrone Soup Recipe

I had a cold last week. I'm better now, but there were a few days there when I was pretty much certain that I was going to choke to death on my own snot. 

(lovely, just lovely, steph...)

Anyway. I really wanted a soup to soothe my throat and to make me feel loved and taken care of. Since I'm home during the day with an almost-three-year-old, there wasn't anybody available to make me soup, so I did it myself (I promise I washed my hands really well first!).

But by the time it was finished cooking, I was back to bed, and was served ---- complete with a Thomas the Tank spoon.

I love my family.

and you'll love this soup. It's easy to throw together, uses household staples, and freezes and reheats VERY well. I kept it vegetarian, but Adam suggests I throw in a hambone next time. Sliced smoked sausage would be awesome, too.

If you'd like a soupier soup, add more broth 30 minutes or so before serving.

The Ingredients.
serves 6

2 cups lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (with juice!)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups hearty torn greens, like kale or chard (if you'd prefer spinach, stir in before serving)
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (optional: add another 1 to 2 cups of broth if you'd like before serving)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Put the rinsed lentils into the bottom of an empty insert. Add the diced celery, carrot, onion, and garlic (if you have a food processor, it might be helpful to use). Add the entire can of diced tomatoes, and add the seasonings and torn greens. Stir in the broth (I used chicken, but any broth will work just fine).
Cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the lentils are soft. If you'd like to stretch this to feed more, or for a thinner soup, feel free to add more broth.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired, and a hunk of garlic bread.

The Verdict.

I ate this for all my meals 3 days in a row and was HEALED(!) from the WORST cold, ever!
that, and I may have taken some Nyquil....

other minestrone soups you might like:
Italian Minestrone
Clean-Out-The-Pantry Minestrone
Pesto Minestrone
Traditional Minestrone

have a wonderful week!

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at December 11, 2012

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What they say about this article

  1. Lentil bean soup is one of our absolute faves! I'll make it once or twice during the 'cooler' months and freeze leftovers to eat in the weeks after. I usually make my version vegetarian but through in cooked Italian sausage to change it up every once in a while too!

  2. And I will be making this for dinner tonight. Thank you.

  3. great recipe, will be making tomorrow! question for you, what's an insert? is this a liner? and if it is, is it necessary? many thanks

  4. Hi Sarah, no, not a liner --- just the cooking pot that is placed within the cooking element. Slow cookers have two parts-- the removable stoneware (or in some cases, a metal insert pot) and the cooking element which has the cord. I hope this helps!

  5. What a tasty-sounding recipe! It's similar to a chunky lentil soup from the cookbook Almost Vegetarian, except their version calls for a little bit of rice as well. Like your recipe, it's good either vegetarian or with a little meat added as well.

  6. I am glad you're feeling better. You're like me, I always make myself soup when I'm under the weather - someone's got to :) it's a healer!

    This looks so delicious, my kind of soup.

  7. First time commenter, but I love your blog! Glad to hear you are feeling better. I just made this soup and it was absolutely delicious. Thanks so much!

  8. This looks really good. Going to try this tomorrow. Always on the lookout for a new lentil recipe!

  9. This is in my crockpot right now and it smells amazing already!

  10. Don't know what I would do without you and your wonderful blog in my life. Merry Christmas!

  11. Hope you've made a full recovery! I am a huge fan of soup. It's great when you're under the weather and one of my best strategies for losing weight and/or staying slim too.

    I got a Ninja for Christmas and am sooo excited to break it out of it's box!! This may be the perfect recipe for christening it.

    Thanks so much

  12. Anonymous1/06/2013

    Have you ever tried to cook this on high? Just wondering if I could start the crockpot around lunch time and it'd be done for supper.

  13. Hi Steph,

    it'll work! Do 4 hours on high, check around 3.5 hours to see if the lentils are soft. Enjoy!

  14. I'm making this right now! Added in a half pound of browned, ground pork that I had left over from making ham balls for the holidays and used up bits from the veggie tray. Smells nummy!

  15. I found the link to this on Facebook this morning and had to make it . I followed the recipe exactly at first, but ended up adding things that made it taste more like lentil chili. It was delicious as written, but I was in the mood for more of a kick. Thanks for all the recipes and all your efforts to feed us well.

  16. What's your suggestion if I have a 4-qt crockpot instead of a 6-qt?

  17. Hi Octopus, you're going to have to do some math. ;-) you can reduce everything by 1/3, or if it's easier, by 1/2.


  18. I made this this week and used spinach instead of the kale, and it was so good. It's a keeper.