If you are looking for a simple soup that is vegetarian but also hearty, this Red Lentil Soup Slow Cooker is just the soup for you! It is so easy to make and warm for those cold winter evenings.
Why Make This Soup?
The flavor is delicious. I love a good lentil soup, and especially one loaded with veggies and a yummy taste. This soup also has cajun seasoning, so not only is it a warming soup, but also a little spicy!
It is so easy to make. It takes about 15 minutes to cut everything up and get it into the slow cooker. After that, it is hands-off. Perfect for a busy day when your schedule is full.
This is a really healthy soup that you can serve to anyone. It is loaded with veggies, is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and even dairy-free. All good reasons to enjoy a bowl of this soup!
It makes a great meal prep. This soup is really simple to reheat in the microwave or cooktop, so make ahead to enjoy it for your work lunches.
- Split Red Lentils- This recipe is designed with split red lentils in mind, it will need to cook much longer if you they are whole.
- Celery, onions, and carrots- this trio are always in my soup recipes and for good reason. They add the best flavor!
- Minced garlic- another must in almost all my soup recipes.
- Bay leaves- they are a seasoning that adds great flavor.
- Vegetable Broth- this can be homemade or storebought.
- Cajun or Creole Seasoning- I love to use Tony Chacheres (the hubs grew up in Louisiana and that was a staple on their table), but if you don't like it or can't find it, use whatever you like.
- Potatoes- I really like creamers the best in soup recipes. I used a blend of red, purple, and yellow creamers. I like them as they don't fall apart, but hold together and have a creamy texture.
- Salt and Pepper- this is about all you will need after all the flavor from the vegetables, broth, and cajun seasoning.
How To Make
The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity. Here it goes-
Add all ingredients to a pressure cooker. Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
At the end of the cooking time, check the lentils and potatoes to ensure they are cooked.
Adjust seasoning as needed and you are done! I love to top mine with pepitas- as shown in the photos, or thinly sliced green onions.
That is it. I told you this was a really simple recipe.
What Are Red Lentils?
They are actually a yellow lentil that has been hulled and that pinkish-red color comes through.
They are mild-flavored lentils. Many people who don't care for green lentils, really like the red lentils for their milder flavor.
They are very popular in Indian cooking (they are called Masoor Dal). In fact, if you cannot find them in your local grocery store, check the aisle with Indian food. If not there, then at your local health food store.
Red split lentils are the quickest cooking lentils. This recipe takes a while as it is a slow cooker recipe, but on the cooktop, it will take anywhere from 25-35 minutes to cook.
While this is a really simple recipe to make, let me share a few tips for the perfect soup.
The time it takes to cook this soup really depends on the slow cooker you use. They all seem to run at different temperatures, so be a little flexible.
If you are wanting the soup to cook faster, I would recommend the 4 hour cooking time on high and also cutting your potatoes up smaller than I did. We like chunkier potatoes, so I cut them larger, small will cook faster.
I used cajun seasoning in this soup. If you do not like spicy food, only add 1 teaspoon. It won't add the heat but will add the flavor.
This soup makes a great meal prep. It will hold in the fridge in an airtight container for at least a week. You can reheat it in the microwave or cooktop.
You can freeze the soup if you like, but I think it reheats kind of weird so I choose not to.
Nutritionally they are very close. The difference between the 2 really stands out in the flavor and in the way they cook.
They are actually a yellow lentil that has been hulled.
You can. Just know the flavor will be a little different and also they hold together a little better than the red lentils. I like that the red lentils break down a bit, so use them for this recipe. But, certainly, if you cannot find the red lentils use yellow or even green.
Other Soup Recipes
- Gluten-free beef stew
- Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Chicken Gnocchi Instant Pot Recipe
- Lentil and Sweet potato soup
- Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup
Red Lentil Soup Slow Cooker
- slow cooker
- 2 cups split red lentils Make sure these are split lentils. If not, you will need to almost double the cooking time.
- 1 cup chopped onions I like a little bigger chunks in mine, but if you like smaller, use a fine dice.
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 ½ cup chopped carrots
- 4 cups large dice potatoes I used a blend of small creamer potatoes and cut them into quarters.
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 teaspoons cajun seasoning this will depend on how spicy you like your food. With only 1 teaspoon, it just adds flavor, add in another 2 and you will get a little spice!
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon salt You may need more, it just depends on how salty the broth you use is.
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add all ingredients to your slow cooker. Set it to 4-6 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low. The time will depend a lot on your slow cooker and how hot it cooks, but also the size of veggies, etc.
- A trick I like to use for slow cooker cooking is to take the lid off the last hour and let the soup cook down a little.
- Check the soup after your 4 hours on high, or 6 hours on low. See if the potatoes and lentils are tender.
- Adjust seasoning as needed when it is finished at the end of cooking time.
- That is it and you are done! I love to top mine with some thinly sliced green onions or even pepitas as shown in the photos. That crunch and flavor is really delicious.
- Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!