Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Super-Frugal Recipes: Lentil Soup

FISuperFrugal Recipe copy

Topping the Kopans comfort-food charts right next to Tuna Casserole is this sweet gem of a recipe.  It has a lot of the same pluses: David grew up with it, it is hot and comforting, and it is super, super cheap.  In a few ways, though, it is even better: it is a crock pot meal, meaning I don't have to schvitz over it at all (and if you  know me, you know there's nothing I hate more than standing over a counter and especially an oven to prep meals),  AND it's what I'm going to call a super-frugal mealThat means it costs $5 or less to prepare, and it stretches into lunchtime for the next day or two to boot. An extra bonus is that my 2 and 3-year-olds devour this meal, so it does double duty in our house.

So, let's get started.  Here's what you'll need:
1 bag of dry lentils
1 can of crushed tomatoes
chopped onions, carrots, and celery (I'd say around a cup of each - I'm using a bagful I chopped and froze)
some chicken broth if you have it
salt, pepper, garlic, and Italian seasoning to taste
3 c water

Wash your lentils. (The directions say to wash and sort, but I am totally guilty of skipping "sort.")
lentil soup

Dump everything together in your crock pot.  Ours is a 6-qt model, to give you an idea of what you're looking at.

For extra frugal bonus points, use your tomato can to add water so you get every last bit of tomatoe-y goodness.

If you have 6 hours or less, put it on high. If you have more than 6 hours, you can safely set this on low and the lentils will still cook to perfection.

Serve it with some bread you threw into the bread machine or got day-old for $.90....

Or over rice....

This also freezes well, so it's a great meal for portioning into freezer containers for on-the-go lunches.  Especially in the winter time, it's nice to have a hot meal from home that you had to do next to nothing to prepare.


  1. I wrote "lentil soup" on my menu plan this week (Thursday, to be exact), but I don't have a go-to recipe. So this just goes to show that sometimes things you need just fall out of the sky (er, internet) right into your lap! Can't wait to try it.

  2. sounds super delicious. and easy. i love that you skip "sort" because i do too....

  3. Thanks for your comments, ladies! Phyllis, as far as I'm concerned, you have the license to skip anything you want for about the next six months.

    If you make this recipe, let me know how it works out, what you changed, etc!

  4. Oh thanks for sharing. I love the crockpot. It just seems like less work than the same soup in a regular pot, doesn't it? Our lentil soup is more Indian flavored. I wonder if I can adapt it to a crockpot... Hmmmm.....

    P.S. Can you tell I finally figured out how to post with your comment options? I can't stop!

  5. what if you have a teeny tiny college sized crock pot? mine's 1.5 quarts. think halving it would be enough? or should i split into thirds?


Thanks for your comments! They make my day.

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