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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Ingredients for Lentil Soup
Photo by Kate Tompkins
  • 4 tablespoons Cyrches dehydrated chicken bouillon (or as much of your preferred brand as will make up 3 1/2 quarts. I like Cyrches because it’s low sodium)
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons Spice-a-Rice pilaf liquid seasoning (or just substitute 2 more tablespoons bouillon and 2 tablespoons curry powder)
  • 2 1/2 quarts water
  • 3 cups split red lentils (add 1/2 cup if you prefer a thick soup)
  • 4 cups frozen vegetables for spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 pound ham steak, diced (optional)

Place dehydrated chicken bouillon in bottom of 6 quart crock pot. Add boiling water and stir. Add Spice-a-Rice seasoning and stir. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir once more. Cook for at least 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Makes 5-6 quarts.
Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
Photo by Kate Tompkins

Tastes even better the second day. My husband likes to add hot sauce to his. Freezes well. If you leave out the ham, this dish is vegetarian, as neither the chicken bouillon or the Spice-a-Rice actually contain animal products.

The inspiration for this recipe came from an 1884 cookbook I found on Project Gutenberg, called Fifty Soups, by Thomas J. Murrey. I give it here, in case you want to make it the old-fashioned way.

“Lentil Soup.—Lentils are very nutritious, and form the basis of a most excellent soup; but they are little used in American cookery. Soak a pint of dry lentils for two hours; put them in a saucepan; add two quarts of cold water, half an onion, two or three celery tops, salt, whole peppers, and two or three ounces of the small end of a ham. Boil gently for three hours; add a little more hot water, if the quantity has been reduced by boiling, pour through a sieve, remove the ham, onion and celery; rub the lentils through a sieve, return to the soup; whisk it thoroughly; taste for seasoning, and serve with croutons.”

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