This lentil soup is easy, delicious, and full of protein!
Perfect for meal prep, this slow cooker lentil soup delivers high protein in the form of a healthy vegetable soup. Oftentimes used as a meat alternative, lentils are prized for their earthy, rich texture. Coupled with a bounty of tomatoes, this humble stew pleases with an easy texture and great taste. A few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar added after the final cook deepens this dish with a rich acid.
Lentils Are Full Of Nutrients We Need
Not so fun fact: Only one in ten people meet the recommended amount of vegetable consumption per day. On account of the fact that diabetes and heart conditions are a national concern, logging in 2-3 cups of vegetables per day is a good idea. Despite that a fair number of Westerners weren’t raised on a steady supply of nutrient filled vegetables, we are now at a turning point in our culture. To that end, it’s up to us to educate ourselves and to provide ample opportunities for our children to eat well.
Lentils are high in protein, fiber, folate, iron, and other minerals. Additionally they are low in sodium and saturated fat. Because of their meaty texture, lentils work well in recipes like stews, chili, tacos, and pepper fillings. They also go great in salads and pastas and make for interesting savory dips.
Canned Tomatoes In Slow Cooker Lentil Stew
Canned tomatoes bring the best, most consistent tomato flavor to any dish requiring cooked tomatoes. Not only are canned tomatoes picked at their ripest, they are also quickly cooked to retain flavor and quality. For this reason, tomatoes are one of those veggies that impart more nutrients when cooked. Most importantly, tomatoes are high in lycopene. What’s more, the action of cooking opens up the cell walls in the tomato plant. As a result, the final cooked product offers three times more the amount of cancer protection and anti-inflammatory benefits than fresh tomatoes.
Pro tip: when buying canned tomatoes, choose whole peeled tomatoes instead of pre-cut ones. It’s a little known fact that in order to preserve the shape of cuts in a can, chemicals are added. Nobody needs those. If it’s a soup you’re making that doesn’t require precision cuts anyway, then squeeze the tomatoes in your hand to break them down. Sure, it’s a little messy, but so what?
Hearty Vegetable Soups Make Perfect Lunch Dates
I read about a guy who meal-prepped the same legume based vegetable stew every week for twenty years. In an effort to maintain an enormous weight loss, he found a recipe that ticked off all the protein, fiber, and vegetable requirements he needed. Every day, without fail, he ate the same meal for lunch. In fact, he made it so frequently, he had the recipe memorized and could make it on auto-pilot. As a result, he kept the weight off and his numbers low. Although this sounds extreme, a habit such as eating a hearty vegetable soup once a day does the body good.
This recipe makes about eight servings, so if you timed it right, that makes for almost two work week’s lunches. Freeze half in one container, and keep the other half in the fridge. Technically, you get two free days without the slow cooker lentil stew, but you can always scale the recipe up or pack smaller portions!
You might also like our list of 73 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes.
*This recipe was contributed by Tammie over at Simple. Healthy. Tasty. . Her family looks forward to this recipe when cool weather hits. It’s been a favorite for years. After struggling with her weight for most of her life, Tammie decided to stop the struggle and focus on her health. She doesn’t diet anymore, never feels deprived and the weight came off over 13 years ago and hasn’t returned.
Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion large, chopped
- 4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
- 2 cups carrots chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 8 cups water
- 3 cups green lentils dry
- 2 tablespoons vegetable broth powder homemade
- 29 ounces diced tomatoes cans
- balsamic vinegar to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Turn large 5 quart slow cooker on high.
- Place oil and chopped veggies and garlic in, stir. Add the water and lentils. Place lid on and let cook on high for about 3 hours until lentils are soft.
- After lentils are cooked stir in Vegetable broth powder and diced tomatoes, turn slow cooker to low and let warm until time to eat. Just before serving add 1-2 Tablespoons, or to taste, of Balsamic vinegar. Can optionally mash some of the lentils with a potato masher or blend with a hand blender for a thicker consistency or just eat it like it is.
- Add salt and pepper to taste!
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