Nutrient dense and filling, this delicious smoky lentil & quinoa soup is always a winner! Includes stovetop and slow cooker methods.
Rinse: Rinse your lentils well and pick through removing any oddly shaped or colored lentils. Rinse quinoa using a fine mesh strainer to remove any powdery residue.
Saute: In a large pot/dutch oven, heat water/oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic, saute for 5 minutes, until onions are tender. Add smoked paprika, cumin, basil, thyme and nutmeg, cook until fragrant, about 1 – 2 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients: Add in lentils, quinoa, tomatoes, bay leaves, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 35 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and tasting for flavor as you go.
Add balsamic: Once done, remove from heat, add balsamic vinegar and stir. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Serve: Spoon soup into serving dishes and top with optional chopped parsley.
Soup serves 4 – 6
Slow Cooker: Add all the ingredients, except the balsamic, and cook on LOW for 6 – 8 hours or HIGH for 3 – 4 hours (or check you manual for ideal cooking times of similar soups). Once soup is done, add the balsamic, taste for flavor, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Feel free to add 1 cup of quinoa instead of 1/2 cup. Just be sure to add the full 7 cups of liquids when cooking, adding more at the end if needed. You can also try using 1 1/2 cup lentils and 1/2 cup quinoa if you like.
For me, using a good vegetable broth in this soup was key to flavor. Lately I’ve been loving using vegetable broth concentrate, like Better Than Bouillon (affiliate link). I only used 1 teaspoon with 6 cups of water and it’s very flavorful. All you need is a little and the jar goes a long way.
Use 2 teaspoons of thyme if you don’t have any dried basil on hand.
If you’re a tomato lover, try using 1 can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes or 3-4 fresh tomatoes.