Contributor post written by Kelly from New Leaf Wellness
If you want to eat healthy, homemade meals without slaving away in the kitchen, crock-pot recipes are your answer. I’m not talking about old fashioned recipes made with condensed soups and yucky ingredients either. You can actually make healthy, real-food recipes in your crock-pot. Believe me. It’s true!
For example, last year I shared my favorite crock-pot beef stew made with beef, barley, fresh vegetables and seasonings, and homemade broth. It’s a healthy and simple recipe that’s also incredibly delicious.
Today, I want to add a crock-pot bacon lentil soup recipe to your dinner menu. It’s a healthy and hearty soup that your whole family will love. And, you’ll feel good about serving it to them because it’s packed with fresh vegetables and French lentils.
If you’ve never cooked lentils before you’re in for a treat. They’re a small member of the legume family that’s packed with protein and iron. They’re also cheaper than most sources of protein, which is an added bonus.
Combine some quality French green lentils with bacon, vegetables, and a tasty broth and let your crock-pot do the rest of the work for you. I’m also including directions below that explain how to prep and freeze this soup for later. Perfect for busy weeknights, if you ask me.
I’ll admit that my favorite part of this crock-pot bacon lentil soup recipe is the bacon itself. I’ll eat pretty much anything made with bacon, but that’s a story for another day…
Have I convinced you to get out your crock-pot yet?
Freezer to Crock-Pot Bacon Lentil Soup
- 5 slices bacon
- 2 celery ribs diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup carrots diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 onion chopped (about 1 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 4 collard greens thinly sliced
- 1 cup french green lentils
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1-2 TB stone-ground mustard
- 1 TB apple cider vinegar
- 8 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- Cook bacon until it is crispy on the stovetop or in the oven. Chop bacon into small pieces.
- Rinse and sort lentils. (I like this easy explanation of sorting.)
- Combine all ingredients in your crock-pot and cook for 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.
To Freeze: Cook the bacon until it’s crispy, and then chop the bacon into small pieces. Rinse and sort lentils. Combine all ingredients (except the broth) in a gallon-sized freezer bag, and freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat, dump the contents of the bag into your crock-pot and add 8 cups of broth. Cook on the “low” setting for 8 hours or until the vegetables and lentils are tender.
Add a big salad and warm crusty bread or homemade biscuits, and dinner is done. Yum!
You can find Kristin’s stovetop version of this recipe here: Hearty Lentil Soup.
Hi, I’m wondering how long to cook this soup on the high setting or is it best to go long and slow?
Hey Donna, I like 8 hours on low.
I’m not used to cooking with collards bit recently learned I love them so I’m excited to try this recipe. What do you mean by 4 collard greens?
Hey Stacie, This will be 4 collard green leaves. Enjoy!!
Hi Kristin, as a professional chef I’ve never owned a crock pot, instead using cast iron pots, etc in a very low oven – as taught way back when in culinary school…lol. This recipe is making me reconsider! ps your website is beautiful – love it!
My family loves soups of all kinds. I’m thrilled to add another delicious yet easy to make soup to my rotation. So easy even the kids can help and they often do. I love the flavor the stone-ground mustard adds.
I’m so glad you’re loving the soup, Katie!
I cannot stand thyme. Any other suggestions?
Hey Lauren, You could try tarragon, sage, or rosemary.
How many servings does this make???
Hey Heidi, The soup serves about 4-6 people.
I’m going to make this today! do you add the vinegar before freezing?
Hi! This looks delicious! Are the lentils dry or from a can? Thanks so much!
Hey Kristen, Thank you. They are dry lentils :).
Looks great! Do you blanch any of the veggies before freezing them?
Hey Rachel, Thank you. The veggies are added raw :).
Looks yummy! Do you put the chollard greens in the freezer pack as well?
Where do you get your labels? They are very cute!
Hey Katlyn, My labels come from New Leaf Wellness: https://newleafwellness.biz/product/printable-freezer-meal-labels/.
Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you, Kelly!