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Vegan Lentil Soup in the Slow Cooker

When my brother visited me a few weeks ago, he enthusiastically bought me a new slow cooker.  I'd never used one before, but it has quickly become my favorite toy.  Throw a bunch of things into it in the morning, turn it on, and return to an apartment in which something has actually prepared dinner for you while you were writing your exegesis paper in the library.

This was the new experiment recipe for today, and it turned out so well!

Whole-Food Plant-Based Lentil-Carrot-Parsnip Slow-Cooker Soup

2.5 cups dry lentils
8 cups water
Two "Not-Beef" vegan bouillon cubes
1 onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 big carrots, cubed
2 parsnips, cubed
2 tsp thyme
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper

1.  I put one cup of water and the two bouillon cubes in a frying pan and smashed up the bouillon with a rubber spatula until it was completely dissolved.  The vegan ones can take a long time to dissolve, and I've found the heat and spatula-smashing is the most efficient way.  Add to slow cooker and turn it on low heat.

2. Add lentils, the rest of the water, the chopped carrots and parsnips (mine were about 1/2 inch cubes but they could have been bigger - also I didn't peel them) to the slow cooker.  This would also be good with potatoes, leeks, bell peppers - whatever else you have.

3.  Next I sauteed the onions in a frying pan in a little bit of olive oil, but I got a phone call and forgot about them.  The smoke alarm went off in my apartment and the onions were blackened, but I decided to go with it and see what would happen.  I lowered the heat and added the garlic, let them cook together for a few minutes, and scraped them into the slow cooker.  

4.  Add the thyme, bay, 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper. 

5.  I let this cook on low heat for about 7 hours and it was definitely done - 5 hours would probably do the trick.  

The onion scalding ended up giving the soup a kind of smoky-sweetness and tasted great.  I added a little splash of sherry right before diving in.  This was a fantastic soup for a chilly fall evening that I got to share with three wonderful friends after a Lessons and Carols service at Christ Church.  A wonderful way to begin Advent!


  1. This sounds amazing! I need a crock pot...

  2. I'm going to try this! Thanks, Catherine! Hope you're loving New Haven. (apparently there is a bakery called Claire's that is supposed to be amazing). :)


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