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One of the things from my Fall Bucket List was to use my crockpot a ton! I have definitely accomplished that. In fact, the crockpot has been in overdrive over here. I’ve been having 1-2 meals out of it every week. That is a lot!
I love the crockpot so much, but I always have a hard time finding different recipes to try. A fun fact about us, we don’t eat red meat in our house. My husband eats red meat when we go out sometimes, but I haven’t eaten it in probably about 5 years.
Since we don’t eat red meat in the house our menu can get really, REALLY boring. Our options are chicken, pork, turkey, and fish. Not a lot of variety.
When I try a new recipe I will follow it to the T the first time then make changes based on feedback. I don’t even remember where I originally found this lentil soup recipe but it has gone through so many changes in the past 5 years I wouldn’t even recognize it if I did find the original recipe.
When I first started making this soup, I actually didn’t know what lentils were. My husband and I were going through a healthy phase and his mom suggested lentils. I now love lentils and use them in tons of recipes. The things I love about lentils: low in calories, high in fiber, high source of protein (second-highest ratio to protein per calorie of any legume, after soybeans), and they are a great source of numerous essential nutrients.
This is one of my husband’s favorite crockpot meals I make. He isn’t really a soup guy, so any soup that I make in the crockpot really has to be hearty, think a cross between a stew and a soup. During the fall and winter, we probably make this soup once a month. I hope you enjoy it.
Crockpot Sausage and Lentil Soup:
- 1 – 2 Tbsps olive oil
- 1 lb hot chicken Italian sausage (we buy this from Trader Joes, it is the casing so we cut the casing away and then cook just the sausage.)
- 1 Cup lentils (any color will do, I like to use a mix between green and red)
- 1 Onion (I use a large onion or 2 small onions, but if you’re not a fan of onions you can use 1 small onion)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced or cut into quarters
- 3 Red potatoes, diced
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
- 3 – 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken stock
Use a large pot over medium heat with about 1 tbsp of olive oil. When the pan is hot add the sausage and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces.
When the sausage is brown and no longer pink, add the diced onion, garlic, mushrooms, potatoes, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Cook this for about 3-4 minutes. The tomato paste should be well incorporated.
Add 2 cups of the chicken stock to deglaze the pot. Bring to a slow boil. While the pot is waiting to boil add the remaining chicken stock, 2 cups of water, and the lentils to the crockpot.
Once the pot on the stove is boiling transfer the contents to the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours or until the lentils are tender.
We like to serve it with crusty bread and enjoy.
How do you feel about lentils? What is your favorite thing to cook in your crockpot?