BEANS: Lentil and Chickpea Soup (Crockpot)

Why beans?

When discussing the anti-cancer diet in general, Dr. Servan-Schreiber in his book, Anti-Cancer, states: “The anticancer diet is principally composed of vegetables (and legumes) accompanied by olive (or canola or flaxseed) oil or organic butter [by organic butter I think he means organic butter from grass-fed cows, which should have much less saturated fat than regular butter], garlic, herbs, and spices. Meat and eggs are optional. They don’t represent the main ingredients of the plate.” (page 119)

For Americans that are used to a meat and potatoes diet, it’s a challenge to create a meal that features legumes (beans, lentils or split peas) and that everyone will enjoy. To that end, I share with you my favorite Lentil and Chickpea Soup. In one variation or another (I almost never make the same recipe twice in exactly the same manner), it’s been a family favorite.

Lentil and Chickpea Soup (crock pot)

This recipe is based on the traditional Moroccan chickpea soup called Harira.

Ingredients

a few tablespoons olive oil

2 medium size onions, finely chopped

4 vegetable or chicken broth bullion cubes

4 cups water (preferably filtered water)

1, 19-ounce can chickpeas (including liquid)

1, 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

  • The best flavor, in my opinion, is from the Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • I prefer Muir Glen canned products because they come in white enamel lined cans (no plastic liner)
  • If you only have canned whole tomatoes on hand, you can use them, too. Using clean hands, squeeze the tomatoes so that they break apart and the tomato pieces slide through your fingers and into the crockpot. (Doesn’t sound great, but it works well.)

1 slightly heaping teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon Celon cinnamon

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • When I use chopped cilantro in cooking, I almost always use the cilantro stems too.

1 cup lentils (regular dried lentils from the supermarket are fine), rinsed

  • The only lentils I could find in the supermarket were packaged with a flavor packet for making soup. So I used the lentils and not the packet.

2 Smooth and Mild Garlic Flavor Cubes

  • My Smooth and Mild Garlic Flavor Cubes were frozen and had been made in a mini muffin tin. The cubes were slightly less than half an inch in height.

cooked quinoa

Additions to add at the table, so everyone can add exactly the amount desired

chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (curly parsley is OK too)

lemon wedges

  • It’s amazing how a few squirts of fresh lemon juice perks up the flavor

smoked paprika (optional)

  • Smoked paprika is a marvelous seasoning, which adds a hint of smokiness and lots of vitamin A besides.
  • Available at many gourmet stores and from Penzeys.

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

In a large heavy bottom saucepan, over medium heat, heat the olive oil, and when the oil is hot, add the onions. Saute the onions, stirring as needed. The onions are cooked when they are slightly translucent.  Add the cooked onions to the crock pot.

Reconstitute the bullion cubes with the water. Then pour the bullion into the crock pot.

Then add the following ingredients to the crock pot:

chickpeas (including liquid)

tomatoes

turmeric

freshly ground black pepper

cinnamon

chopped fresh cilantro

lentils

garlic flavor cubes

Cover the crock pot and cook on low overnight or while you are at work OR just as long as it takes for the lentils to cook (which is probably just an hour or two on low…but you should test them for doneness and not go by my time estimate, because it’s just an estimate).

To serve the soup…

Place a 3 or 4 heaping tablespoons of cooked quinoa into each bowl.

Spoon a few ladles of soup over the quinoa.

At the table, pass the following flavorings and garnishes…

chopped fresh Italian parsley (or regular curly parsley)

lemon wedges

smoked paprika

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Enjoy and be healthy,

Leni

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6 thoughts on “BEANS: Lentil and Chickpea Soup (Crockpot)

  1. I reached into the refrigerator for the leftovers of this soup and discovered that there wasn’t much left. After adding some quinoa I had enough for a small serving, but it was the consistency of a stew — and I wanted soup — not a stew. So I added some water and a couple of frozen flavor cubes (mini muffins). I used the Monamifood Tomato and Onion Chutney Flavor Cubes (recipe: https://monamifood.wordpress.com/2009/07/ ) that I always have on hand in my freezer. The result: perfectly delicious!

  2. It was so nice meeting you last week and learning about your blog– as soon as I got home I checked it out! I will keep checking it out on a regular basis.

    I can not wait to try your recent crockpot recipe– you have combined three of my favorite things– lentils, chickpeas and using a crockpot. I love eating with the seasons and as fall approaches soups are wonderful.

    All the best,
    Marti Badila

    1. Thanks, Marti. Like you, I enjoy cooking with the seasons and I try to keep that in mind when posting recipes — though I can’t always do so. I’m working on a chocolate recipe right now, and I suppose chocolate doesn’t have a season — it’s just perfect anytime. Glad you are finding some good recipes here on this blog.
      Enjoy and be healthy,
      Leni

  3. Hi Leni

    I made your soup this weekend. It was amazing! My 1 year old loved it!

    Great receipe!

    Thanks again!

    Lauren Price
    (PIR)

  4. Hi Lauren,
    Your little one has good taste! And…I hope her interest in healthy eating will continue throughout her life.
    Leni

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