Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup

This Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup recipe is quick and easy to prep, made with feel-good ingredients, and full of the best curried flavors!

This Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup only takes about 10 minutes to prep, then let the crock-pot do the rest of the work to make this delicious, healthier vegetarian comfort food. | gimmesomeoven.com (Gluten-Free / Vegetarian / Vegan)

Last Monday was a lentil soup kind of Monday.

It was rainy and gray and chilly here in Kansas City, I was bustling around all day running 2.5 million errands trying to get ready to leave the country the next day (yep, I’m still adventuring around Korea and Japan, you can follow along here!), and I was in major Let’s-Clean-Out-The-Fridge-Before-Being-Gone-For-Three-Weeks mode.  Oh, and I really wanted to bring some food over to a friend who was in the throes of wedding week, figuring that her life was even crazier that day than mine.  She happens to be a vegetarian, and I happen to have been tinkering with various lentil soup recipes this fall.  So it seemed like this soup was downright meant to be.  

Since I was out and about most of the day, I decided to just toss everything in the crock-pot instead of hovering near the stove stirring for an hour.  And sure enough, once I returned from my rain-soaked errands all over the city, the most heavenly smelling pot of soup was waiting for me all ready to go.  I just stirred in some chopped spinach and lemon juice to brighten things up, sprinkled a ton of fresh cilantro on top, and voila — dinner was served.

Oh, and then I took a second batch over to my friend, Kara’s, so that dinner could be served for her (well, sometime that week) too.

Totally hit the spot all around.  Lentil soup FTW!

This Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup only takes about 10 minutes to prep, then let the crock-pot do the rest of the work to make this delicious, healthier vegetarian comfort food. | gimmesomeoven.com (Gluten-Free / Vegetarian / Vegan)

Now if you aren’t into slow cooking, you’re totally welcome to transition this recipe to the stovetop.  But the crock-pot version literally could not be easier, so I totally recommend it if you happen to have one.  Simply dump all of your ingredients (minus the last four) in the crock-pot, and give them a good stir.  Then let the crock-pot work its magic for 4-5 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low.

This Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup only takes about 10 minutes to prep, then let the crock-pot do the rest of the work to make this delicious, healthier vegetarian comfort food. | gimmesomeoven.com (Gluten-Free / Vegetarian / Vegan)

Then once those lentils are nice and tender, stir in a bunch of chopped leafy greens.  (Spinach, kale, or collards would all work well here.)  Sprinkle in lots of fresh lemon juice, to give it a zippy kick.  Season everything generously with salt and pepper to taste, also adding extra spices if you’d like.
This Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup only takes about 10 minutes to prep, then let the crock-pot do the rest of the work to make this delicious, healthier vegetarian comfort food. | gimmesomeoven.com (Gluten-Free / Vegetarian / Vegan)

Then dish it up!

This Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup only takes about 10 minutes to prep, then let the crock-pot do the rest of the work to make this delicious, healthier vegetarian comfort food. | gimmesomeoven.com (Gluten-Free / Vegetarian / Vegan)

I like mine served with a generous handful of chopped fresh cilantro on top.  But a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream would also be yummy, as would some extra lemon juice sprinkled on top.
This Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup only takes about 10 minutes to prep, then let the crock-pot do the rest of the work to make this delicious, healthier vegetarian comfort food. | gimmesomeoven.com (Gluten-Free / Vegetarian / Vegan)

Seriously, SO GOOD, and thanks to the slow cooker, also SO EASY.

So if you happen to love good curried lentil soup, be sure to bookmark this one to have your own lentil soup kind of day.  :)

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Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup

This Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup only takes about 10 minutes to prep, then let the crock-pot do the rest of the work to make this delicious, healthier vegetarian comfort food.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock*
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked green or brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder**
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups roughly-chopped baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus extra lemon slices for serving
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for topping

Directions:

  1. Add the garlic, carrots, onion, stock, lentils, curry powder, cumin, and bay leaves to the bowl of a 4-quart or 6-quart slow cooker, and stir to combine.
  2. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, until the lentils are tender.
  3. Stir in the baby spinach and lemon juice until combined.
  4. Taste, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  (I used about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, but the saltiness of the soup will vary based on your type of stock.)
  5. Serve warm, garnished with lots of chopped cilantro and extra lemon slices, if desired.

*If you’re making this soup vegetarian or vegan, go with vegetable stock.  ;)  Also, if you want to make this gluten-free, double-check and be sure that all of the labels on your ingredients are certified gluten-free.

**I highly recommend using Madras-style curry powder for this recipe.  It adds a little extra heat, which I love.  (I used this brand, which I recommend.)  Also, if you’re new to making curried dishes and aren’t familiar with these spices, feel free to wait and add them in at the very end, and just add a teaspoon or so at a time until it tastes good to you.

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

This Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup only takes about 10 minutes to prep, then let the crock-pot do the rest of the work to make this delicious, healthier vegetarian comfort food. | gimmesomeoven.com (Gluten-Free / Vegetarian / Vegan)

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29 comments on “Slow Cooker Curried Lentil Soup”

  1. Dying for my wife (I mean myself) to make some good, hearty soups this season. This fits the bill. Soup and football. Bring it. 

  2. This looks perfect. I can’t wait to test this out =)

  3. This recipe has two of my faves: lentils and curry, so I was excited about this post. Haha! It’s been getting really chilly in my area, so this is exactly what I need to stay all nice and toasty warm! 

  4. this looks so yummy! I have a bag of mixed beans in my pantry that need to be used, I might try with that, do you think it would taste just as good?

  5. Wow! This is a perfect soup for these cold months!

  6. I just made this recipe and it was fantastic! In my case I didn’t have cumin so I used 1/2 tsp of ground coriander and 1/2 tsp of chili powder and it tasted great. I also added in some kale with the spinach. Would highly recommend this one!

  7. Just cooked your lentil dish. LOVED IT! Added peas and mushrooms at the end, just to bulk it up! A dollop of sour cream also….
    The lemon wakes it up, and the spinach and cilantro are great!!

    Thanks so much!

    Poppy Harris

  8. I love almost every recipe I’ve made from this site, but this one was a huge miss for me. I checked the soup after just 3 1/2 hours on high, and everything was already overcooked and mushy. And the taste was really off as well; very bland. I use my crockpot all the time and have never had issues with other recipes, so I’m not sure where this one went wrong.

    • We’re not sure what could have gone wrong, Genevieve, but we’re very sorry this didn’t work out for you! :(

  9. Love lentil peas but I would love to try it. Never had it before looks good

  10. I made this the first time with brown lentils…my family couldn’t get past how it looked. It was also a bit bland. I’m making it today with green lentils and some extra curry so we will see how it goes. Love your recipes so willing to give it another shot.

  11. My husband made this for us over the weekend, and we really enjoyed the flavors, particularly the balance of the earthiness of the lentils with the vibrant lemon flavor. We used a moderately spicy curry powder that was heavy on the cumin, and I think it gave it an excellent flavor. We are both writing our graduate school dissertations so we both appreciated this easy yummy meal with leftovers. Thanks :)

    • We’re so happy you both enjoyed it, Jennifer — thanks for taking the time to comment! :)

  12. WOW! This is delicious! My kids LOVE it. I doubled the recipe so we can have soup for the busy weekend. I will make it again and again. I added sliced smoked sausage to this batch. The cilantro and lemon juice really make it over the top. My house smells GREAT!
    Your Blog is beautiful, a pleasure to visit and I tell everyone about it. I love that you have added crock pot and stove top instructions on several of your recipes. We also loved the Vegetable Beef Soup.
    We used your egg drop soup for our 4-H club and everyone loved it.
    I have scoped out several other recipes I am getting ready to try.
    My son has multiple serious food allergies, and can have many of your recipes, thank you.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Karla — we’re happy you and your kiddos enjoy the soup, and we bet the smoked sausage was wonderful in this! :) We’re also glad to hear that the egg drop soup was a hit!

  13. Can’t wait to try this recipe, but I was wondering if it would freeze well? Thank you!

    • Thanks, Annelies, we hope you enjoy it! And yes, it freezes well!

  14. So good!!!

    Rating: 5
  15. I just made this recipe!! Left it in for 4 hours on high I added more garam masala than called for. It turned out lovely!! Perfect for a rainy day in the north! Definitely keeping this for the winter ahead! It was perfect

    Rating: 5
  16. Just made this tonight and I gotta say it’s SO GOOD! The spicy curry powder made me nervous, but I bought some to try anyway. Overall, I think the pepper I put in made this more spicy than anything, it’s only got a hint of heat, which I enjoy. I cooked for 6 hours on low, and I think the lentils were a tad bit over cooked, but otherwise everything turned out perfect! Will definitely save this recipe for another time!

    Rating: 4
  17. Absolutely delicious! I didn’t see where to add the 1 teaspoon garam masala and really didn’t know what garam masala is. I added 1 tsp of Zahtar, two TB of cornstartch and 1 TB of water to thicken it up, about 2/3 bag of petite peas, 1/2 white potato already cooked and a few slices of roasted sweet potatoes. I really enjoyed it with the sour cream. This is definitely a do over! – Tracy

    Rating: 5
  18. Excellent recipe, yet again! Thank you, Ali. The simplicity of the ingredients, plus the ease of throwing it all in the crockpot (hi winter, hello crockpot,) made for dazzling whiffs as it cooked, and excellent flavor as we ate! We varied the recipe and added chorizo sausage which we browned and sliced up first, before adding with all other ingredients. We let it cook overnight, and this morning we ate the stew with a fried egg on top. We’ll have it for dinner as well, sans egg. Excellent recipe, I love your work!

    Allison and Patrick from VT

    Rating: 5
  19. When do you add the garam masala? The recipe does not specify. I presume it goes in with the initial batch of spices and stock?

  20. Just made today and enjoyed for dinner…the flavors were great! I added some diced tomatoes, garlic powder and ginger paste at the end of cooking.

    Rating: 5
  21. oh my goodness, was this delicious !!! It is the first lentil soup I’ve had that is full of flavor and zing ! Have recently been making diet changes and this healthy, tasty soup is just the thing. My husband equally enjoyed it and I am now a big fan…..will have to try some more of your recipes ! Thank you so much for sharing this one !