How to cook lentilsLentils are not hard to cook at all. Basically, they follow the same principle as rice - when you add moisture, they expand and soften. You don’t have to soak lentils before you cook them, but it doesn’t hurt to give them a quick rinse to ensure there’s nothing else lingering in them. Other than that, you can just toss them in an Instant Pot or crock pot and be done with it. They’ll cook and soften in the broth and make the soup thicker.
Are lentils good for you?Yes! They’re packed with polyphenols which help fight everything from heart disease to cancer. They’re also high in fiber, iron, magnesium and plant-based protein. While not a low carb food, lentils are definitely a “slow carb” option, meaning that given the amount of fiber content, they don’t spike insulin quite the way a piece of bread might.
Are they low carb?While not low carb, lentils are not as high in carbs as other beans and legumes. For a 100g serving, lentils have 116 calories, 9 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbs and about 12 grams of net carbs (8 grams of fiber). That's not bad at all.
What you’ll need for this lentil soup recipeReady for it? It’s not much!
Step-by-Step instructions (for Instant Pot)Start by sauteing the onions and garlic with a little olive oil. Now add the seasoning. Then add the celery, carrots and lentils (be sure to rinse them first). Now you're ready to put the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on high for 15 minutes, then let the air release naturally for another 15 minutes. Once your soup is cooked, you can add the coconut milk (don't add it before you start as it doesn't do well in an Instant Pot) and then serve!.
Step-by-Step Instructions (for Crock Pot)Add everything but the coconut milk to the slow cooker and cook on "high" for 3 hours. After 3 hours, add the coconut milk, stir well and then serve. That's it!
Can you freeze lentil soup?Of course you can! Up to 3 months in the freezer. However I bet you’re going to find that this soup never makes it to the freezer. It's really that good.
If you love lentil soup, you'll probably love these, too.
Are you on the 21 Day Fix or Ultimate Portion Fix Meal Plan?One serving of golden lentil soup is .5 green .5 yellow & .5 blue. Curious what the Ultimate Portion Fix (a.k.a. the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan) is? Click here to learn more.
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil (optional for the crock pot recipe)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons Curry powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 4 cups veggie soup stock
- salt and pepper to taste
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Chop vegetables and rinse lentils thoroughly
- In a slow cooker add everything but the coconut milk
- Cook on high for three to four hours (the longer you cook, the more the lentils will turn to delicious mush)
Instant Pot Instructions
- Chop veggies and rinse lentils thoroughly.
- Saute the onions and garlic in oil for about 3 minutes.
- Add the seasoning and stir well.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except for the coconut milk).
- Cook on high for 15 minutes, then wait 15 minutes for the pressure to release.
- Remove the lid gently, add the coconut milk and stir well.
- Serve and enjoy!
A Tip for the Crock Pot Method:
The cooking time is entirely up to you. Less than 3 hours will yield a more intact lentil, but less of a creamy, thicker base. More than 3 hours will give you that thick, almost stew-like consistency.
Want a less creamy option?
Skip the coconut oil and season with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and/or tamari. Start with 1/2 a tablespoon of each and add more according to your preference.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Bowls Serving Size 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving Calories 250Total Fat 8gCarbohydrates 26gFiber 6gProtein 9g
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.