Even people who don’t like lentils will love this super frugal, super easy blended red lentil soup that costs less than $5 to make and feeds a crowd!
The humble lentil… so nutritious, so versatile, and yet somehow so underrated.
This simple, creamy blended red lentil soup recipe is so easy (and budget-friendly) it’s sure to be a favorite this winter. Even someone who doesn’t really like lentils will love this soup!
How do I know that?
We celebrate the Biblical feasts, one of which is Sukkot (or Feast of Tabernacles). This is a week of camping, sometimes in very cold weather!
This past Sukkot, we camped with two other families and had others in our home fellowship join us for meals.
On soup night, I contributed this easy lentil soup. One family is vegetarian and another family has a member who isn’t really crazy about lentils.
While I normally make soups with bone broth, this version I made with water.
My vegetarian friends loved this soup. Even better, their kids don’t normally like red lentils, but even they loved it!
My friend who doesn’t really like lentils, but will eat them? He loved it and was surprised that it’s so good.
Honestly, it surprised me too since I just used water. A good, rich bone broth makes such wonderful soup.
But that’s part of the beauty of this lentil soup. You take simple ingredients and seasonings, and transform them into a nutritious, hearty soup that’s also easy on the budget.
I think the secret is using red lentils.
Why Red Lentils For This Blended Lentil Soup Recipe?
While lentils in general are quick to cook and very soft, red lentils are known to not hold their shape well. They practically disintegrate while cooking.
Since we’re blending them anyway, that’s perfect!
They do most of the work for us by breaking down while cooking. Then, a quick whir with a stick blender and voila! Ultra creamy, blended lentil soup.
I also find red lentils to just have a more creamy texture compared to other lentils. You’d almost think there’s dairy in this red lentil soup.
However, there is not one drop of dairy. That’s wonderful if you need to make a dairy-free meal.
This Red Lentil Soup Is Also Trim Healthy Mama Friendly!
Another reason to love red lentils?
That creaminess I just mentioned also means a rich mouth-feel when eating this soup. But without a ton of added fat!
That means this easy lentil soup is also THM:E friendly. You get your healthy, nutritious carbs from the soaked lentils.
Just a tiny bit of added fat in the soup leaves room for a bit of butter on a small piece of sprouted or sourdough bread, if you like. Or a low-fat dressing on a nice, fresh salad to get those non-starchy veggies into your meal.
How To Make This Easy Red Lentil Soup Recipe
Here’s how to quickly whip up a batch of delicious blended red lentil soup!
Step 1: Always Soak Your Lentils!
The process of soaking beans and legumes reduces phytic acid. This makes them easier to digest and utilize the nutrients within them.
Sort through your lentils first and remove any small stones or other debris.
Then put in a large bowl or pot and cover with water. For 1 pound of lentils I add about 8 cups of water.
Leave it on the counter overnight.
Strain and rinse your lentils and they’re ready to go into your soup.
Step 2: Saute Your Veggies
I’ve chosen a simple blend of veggies for this soup – onions, celery, and red pepper.
Chop those into small pieces, then saute for several minutes in a tablespoon of melted, traditional fat. I used grass-fed butter but any traditional fat suitable for cooking is fine.
Step 3: Add Water (Or Broth) & Lentils, Then Cook
If your budget is tight, you’re out of bone broth, or are cooking for vegans or vegetarians, just use filtered water.
Otherwise, feel free to use vegetable stock or bone broth. Trim Healthy Mamas, be sure to skim the fat off of your bone broth if you want a true THM:E soup.
Add your water (or broth), lentils, and seasonings, then bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be sure to skim off any foam that develops.
You’ll know the lentils are done when they look like they exploded!
Step 4: Blend Until Smooth And Creamy
The easiest, and safest, way to blend a hot soup is with a immersion blender.
If you choose to use a regular blender, let the soup cool a bit first. Just trust me on this one — blending too-hot liquids in a blender is asking for trouble…and a huge mess to clean.
Just plop your immersion blender in the soup pot, and pulse or blend until the soup is smooth and creamy.
How To Make Instant Pot Lentil Soup
While this soup is easily made in about 40 minutes on the stovetop (or less), you can also easily make it in your pressure cooker. (Read more about which size instant pot is best for your family here.)
Simply use the Saute function on your Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker to melt the fat and saute the veggies. If using a stovetop cooker, place cooker on a burner over medium heat.
Next, add the water, lentils, and seasonings.
Secure the lid, make sure the vent knob is set to Sealing, and pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to release manually.
If you’re in a hurry, it should be safe to release any remaining pressure after about 10 minutes.
Take the lid off and use your immersion blender to puree the soup.
How To Make Crock Pot Lentil Soup
Finally, if a slow cooker is your preferred way to make soups, you certainly can use one! A Crock Pot is perfect for days when you’ll be away from home (or too busy with other things).
Saute your veggies in fat on the stove and add them to the slow cooker along with the soaked lentils and remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.
Then when you’re ready to eat, just give the soup a whirl with your immersion blender right in the Crock Pot.
A Note On Nutritional Yeast
I personally love nutritional yeast and am fine using it. Be sure to use a non-fortified nutritional yeast.
Don’t have nutritional yeast or don’t want to use it? Feel free to leave it out. Your soup may need a bit more seasoning, so check for flavor and adjust to your tastes.
Healthy, Hearty, Nutritious, & Frugal Makes This The Best Lentil Soup Recipe!
You simply can’t go wrong with a homemade lentil soup. Here’s 5 reasons why this is the best lentil soup recipe:
1. It’s filling! My teenage daughter loves lentils because they’re so filling and stick with you. That’s great news for Trim Healthy Mamas as many times E meals don’t keep you satisfied as long as S meals.
2. This lentil soup is super easy to make! This soup requires simple skills and not much time. If you can chop veggies, saute them for a few minutes, and boil water, you’re perfectly qualified. You can have this soup on the table in well under an hour. Add a salad and warm, homemade bread for a delicious and healthy meal.
3. It’s super budget-friendly! Seriously, I’m still amazed at how good this soup is just using water! Lentils are a very frugal legume choice, too. This whole pot of soup cost less than $5 to make and fed quite a few people!
4. Real, whole food ingredients! There’s nothing artificial in this soup… just real, wholesome ingredients healthfully prepared for maximum nutrition. You probably have everything on hand right now. Even the veggies I used in this easy recipe can be adapted to what you have on hand. That means endless flavor possibilities, too!
5. Perfect for freezer cooking! Lentils freeze very well, and this soup is no exception. Make a big batch or two to freeze and have easy-to-prepare meals on hand for weeks. When reheating, you may need to add more water or broth as it does tend to thicken as it cools. Here’s how to reheat frozen food in your Instant Pot!
As you can see, these are great reasons to add this soup to your meal plan. You can season it however you like, add other veggies, or even add meat (chicken breast is great, especially for Trim Healthy Mamas).
A bowl of this easy lentil soup is like a big hug on a cold, winter day. It will fill you up and warm you from the inside out.
There’s nothing better on a cold day than a hearty, healthy bowl of soup!
THM Blended Red Lentil Soup (Instant Pot, Crock Pot, Stove Top)
Even people who don't like lentils will love this super frugal, super easy blended red lentil soup that costs less than $5 to make and feeds a crowd!
- 1 pound red lentils about 3 1/4 cups
- 8 cups pure water for soaking
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or other healthy fat, such as grass-fed butter
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 cup red bell pepper diced
- 2/3 cup celery sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1 1/2 to 2 quarts pure water or bone broth or vegetable stock, depending on how thick you like your blended soup
- 1 to 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or more to taste
The evening before...
Sort through lentils and remove and stones or debris.
Add lentils and soaking water to a large bowl or pot, and soak overnight.
Drain and rinse the lentils.
The next day...
In a 6 quart soup pot, melt the fat.
Add veggies and saute for several minutes.
Add water (or bone broth or vegetable stock), soaked lentils, and seasonings and stir well.
Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that develops.
Reduce to medium high heat and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the lentils have burst.
Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, allow the soup to cool several minutes and blend in a blender in small batches.
Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.
Instant Pot Method:
- If using an electric cooker such as the Instant Pot, press the "Saute" function. If using a stovetop cooker, place on burner over medium heat.
- When hot, add fat to insert pot.
- Add veggies and saute for several minutes.
- Add water or broth, soaked lentils, and seasonings and stir well.
- Secure lid, set vent knob to Sealing.
- Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Allow pressure to release naturally, or release remaining pressure after 10 minutes of natural pressure release.
- Remove the lid and blend, as instructed above.
Crock Pot Method:
- Melt fat in a skillet and saute veggies for several minutes.
- To your slow cooker add the veggies, soaked lentils, water or broth, and seasonings.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.
- Blend as instructed above.
A Note For Trim Healthy Mamas:
The fat listed in the Nutrition Info is the fat naturally present in lentils. This fat doesn't count toward your ADDED fats allowable for an E meal. 1 tablespoon of fat spread out over 5 quarts is basically no fat per cup. So having a teaspoon of butter on bread or oil in a salad dressing would be totally fine with this soup!
What Other THM Friendly Soups Can I Make?
We’ve got plenty of healthy soup recipes for you to try! Here are just a few:
- Instant Pot Tomato Basil Soup
- Chicken And Spring Vegetable Soup
- Asparagus Leek Bisque
- Quinoa Vegetable Soup Recipe
What is your favorite food for a chilly winter day?
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