I asked readers what kind of recipes they want for the winter months, and slow cooker soups were one of the most requested! So here we go, starting off with this vegetarian crockpot soup, a hearty red lentil vegetable curry version, bursting with flavor and chunky veggies. This one is also vegan and gluten free, if that’s in your dietary wheelhouse.
I love this particular soup because not only is it chunky and hearty and warming and healthy, but the red lentils provide a good source of plant based protein (and fiber), which is always a bonus for vegetarian or vegan eaters. The broth and curry paste give it that salty and slightly spicy flavor, balanced out by the sweet potato and creamy coconut milk. I can’t get enough cilantro in general, so of course I sprinkle on a solid helping of that, plus some crunchy green onions.
The creaminess comes not only from the coconut milk, but also from the red lentils softening as they cook. If you haven’t cooked with red lentils before, they end up much softer than green or brown lentils and work really well in soups. You’ll need to rinse them well before adding them to the crockpot. To do this, I add the measured amount to a bowl, fill with water, swirl it around, pour off the water and repeat until it’s clear (or mainly clear). With red lentils, you will notice the water is very cloudy for the first few rinses, as you can see below. There may also be little stones or particles that rise to the top and you can just pour them off. This is what it looks like during rinsing:
Now that we’ve got the rinsing out of the way, you’re ready to go! Toss the ingredients into the crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours. Then add in the frozen peas and coconut milk, and cook for another 10 minutes. Optional (but highly recommended): cilantro and lot of green onion for toppings. If you like things spicier, squirt some sriracha on there for good measure. Also, if you want to make it even heartier or are feeding someone who eats meat, brown rice or shredded rotisserie chicken would go well with these flavors.
Check out the quick demo video here!
(Note: the longer cook time is hands-off slow cooker time!)
- 1/2 onion, sliced thin or diced
- 2 large (or 3 small) carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1.5 Tbsp red curry paste
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed well and drained
- 5 cups broth (I use No Chicken Better Than Bouillon)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup coconut milk (I use full fat canned)
- chopped cilantro (optional topping)
- sliced green onion (optional topping)
- sriracha sauce (optional topping)
Add all ingredients through the broth to the crockpot.
Cook on low for 4 hours. Then, add in the frozen peas and coconut milk and stir, cooking for another 10 minutes.
To serve, enjoy as is, or top with cilantro and green onion!