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August 22, 2011

Recipe for slow cooker vegan lentil and chickpea soup


While looking for inspiration in my pantry last week, I discovered a long-forgotten bag of small brown lentils, the kind you buy in bulk at Indian grocery stores. I had canned chickpeas on the shelf, too, and a vision of a brown-on-brown soup came to me. Cumin, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne pepper kept the soup in the same color palette, and some fresh cilantro added at the end provided contrast in both hue and taste. If you have a good strong mushroom or vegetable stock in your freezer, you can use that as the broth. And if you're not vegan, top the soup with a bit of yogurt when you serve.

Slow cooker vegan lentil and chickpea soup

Serves 6.


2 cups small brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tsp ginger paste or grated fresh ginger root
3 cloves garlic, minced or 1-1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 tsp kosher salt
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves, roughly chopped, plus additional for garnish


In a 3-quart slow cooker, add the lentils, ginger paste (or fresh ginger), garlic or garlic paste, onion, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, cayenne pepper and salt. Stir together.

Add 7 cups of water. Turn the cooker to HIGH, cover, and cook for 2 hours.

Uncover the slow cooker and stir in the chickpeas and cilantro. Continue to cook on HIGH, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Serve hot, topped with additional cilantro.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Susie Bee on Maui | August 22, 2011 at 02:59 PM

Awesome-love the flavors and that it is made in the slow cooker!

Posted by: Lydia | August 23, 2011 at 09:12 AM

Susie, lentils are perfect in the slow cooker. They don't overcook and break apart, but they get beautifully soft and creamy on the inside.

Posted by: Charissa | August 24, 2011 at 02:38 PM

Now that the weather seems to be turning...soup is going to be a lot more popular at my house!

This looks really delicious it! I love vegan sources of protein in soup!

Posted by: susan g | August 24, 2011 at 10:12 PM

This looks perfect for the weekend, for the anticipated backsplash of Hurricane Irene...

Posted by: CJMcD | August 25, 2011 at 02:01 AM

Three thumbs up Soup Chick. Delish.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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