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Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham

Hearty and simple slow cooker lentil soup is full of vegetables and smoky ham. Thick and rich, this is a great soup recipe for dinner

bowls of slow cooker lentil soup with ham and kale

 

Chunks of potatoes and carrots fill this delicious and nutritious soup, and the creamy lentils give it a wonderful texture. This easy slow cooker lentil soup is a new favorite to add to your dinner rotation.

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Slow Cooker Lentil Soup Recipe

We’re all trying to eat healthier and get more veggies into our diets, and while I love a good salad, sometimes that just doesn’t cut it. I need comfort food and for me, that is usually in the form of soup. 

There are now two lentil soup recipes here, which I am very happy about. The original easy lentil soup recipe is a straight-forward, traditional lentil soup. Both soups use green lentils. There are a few different variety of lentils, but the one we are using is the regular green lentil.

green lentils in measuring cup

They cook very quickly and do not require soaking. As with all beans or legumes, you’ll need to give them a quick once over and a rinse before adding to the soup.

Lentil Soup with Ham and Kale

It is officially cold here and nothing makes me want a bowl of thick and hearty soup like cool temperatures. I have fallen back in love with my crockpot and soups like this are the reason why. They are absolutely effortless and the flavor is out of this world.

kale leaves on cutting board

We’re using kale in this soup, but if you have an aversion to this leafy green (I know you’re out there, I see you), or you just can’t find any suitable kale at the moment, feel free to substitute spinach. 

The best thing about leafy greens is that they wilt right down in the hot liquid. You’ll chop up the kale and add it to the crockpot of hot soup, give it a stir and wait 10 minutes. It will miraculously meld into the soup and be perfectly tender.

overhead photo of lentil soup in bowls

How to make lentil soup in the crockpot

Making soup in the slow cooker could not be easier. Everything gets added to the crockpot except the kale. Let the soup cook for several hours and then purée a small portion of the soup with an immersion blender (or regular blender). Add that back into the slow cooker, then add the kale to wilt into the soup. That’s it. Seriously.

Puréeing a bit of the soup makes it creamy without having to add cream. Plus, it makes the texture of the soup thicker and heartier.

lentil soup ingredients in crockpot

Cooking the lentils in the soup the entire time will break them down a bit because they don’t require long cooking. If you prefer to have your lentils intact (🙋🏼‍♀️), you can add them in the final two hours.

Because I was home when I made this soup, that is what I did. When I’m not home, I add everything and let it cook. There isn’t a significant difference, but the lentils will be softer if you add them in the beginning.

slow cooker lentil soup bowls

Also, a small splash of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar stirred in at the end is a great complement to the ham. 

Big Batch Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

This recipe makes 8 servings, so it is ideal for feeding a crowd. Even though we are a family of two, I make larger batches of soup for meal prepping or freezing. If I have some in the freezer, I can pull out a container or two for those days when I don’t feel like cooking (which, if we’re being perfectly honest is at least twice a week).

If you have a smaller crockpot, you may need to adjust the recipe. The other option is buy the same 8 quart crockpot that I own. If you batch cook, it’s fantastic.

What to serve with lentil soup for dinner

A hunk of crusty bread slathered with good butter is always a great option to go with soup. But, if you’re looking for a salad and maybe a dessert to go with dinner, here are some great options:

Butternut Squash Arugula Salad – one of our all time favorite salads!

Kale, Sweet Potato & Pomegranate Salad – everyone who eats this salad LOVES it.

Gluten Free Clementine Cake – Celebrate citrus with this easy cake made in the food processor!

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits – an easy no bake dessert perfect for weeknights.

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Yield: 4 quarts

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham

slow cooker lentil soup bowls

Thick and hearty slow cooker lentil soup full of vegetables and smoky ham.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 lb. baby potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils
  • 2 cups kale, chopped

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except kale to slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  2. Secure lid and cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 4 hours).
  3. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender), purée 2 cups of soup, then return the purée to the slow cooker.
  4. Add kale, stir and let soup rest 10 minutes to wilt kale. Serve.

Notes

If you prefer not to add lentils at the beginning, add them after 4 hours of cooking on low.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 1264mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 6gSugar: 8gProtein: 17g

Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.

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Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂
cheryl

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