A bowl of slow cooker lentil soup with ham, accompanied by toasted bread slices on a plate, with a spoon on the side, all resting on a striped napkin
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Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham

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Hearty slow cooker lentil soup with ham, super easy to make uses 6 ingredients and feeds a family of 6+! The smoky ham and chewy lentils make this soup!

On those chilly days when you’re bundled up and still feeling the cold, nothing hits the spot quite like a hot bowl of Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham! It’s packed with hearty lentils (well, duh!) simmered in a broth that’s bursting with the flavors of garlic powder, smoky ham, and a bunch of veggies. Lentil ham soup is rich, cozy, and yes, smoky goodness that I find myself craving whenever I need something to warm up both me and my whole family through and through.

Overhead shot of a bowl of slow cooker lentil soup with ham with chunks of ham and sliced carrots, served with garlic bread on a side plate, raw lentils scattered on the table, and a spoon on a striped cloth

When I first made this ham and lentil soup recipe, I’ll admit, I was a bit worried about whether the lentils would truly soften up in the slow cooker without any pre-soaking. I am not a stranger to the combo of lentils and crock pots, as I love a good lentil curry, and basic lentil stew but you know how some lentil recipes can be hit or miss with textures based on what you cook it with. But, to my surprise, this one turned out amazing! The lentils are slow cooked to perfection – tender, flavorful, and just the right texture to meld seamlessly with the smoky ham and veggies. It’s one of those moments in cooking where you just have to trust the process, and this time, the slow cooker really came through!

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham Overview

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Number of Ingredients: 6 (excluding black pepper and garlic powder)
Feeds: A family of 6-8
Total Cook Time: 6 hours, 20 minutes
Primary Cooking Method: Slow Cooking
Dietary Info: Gluten-Free (check your chicken broth)
Key Flavor: Smoky and Savory
Skill Level: Beginner

Notable mentions

  • Perfect for Batch Cooking: Cook this slow cooker lentil soup with ham once, eat all week! Simply portion it out and freeze it, and you’ve got several hearty meals ready to go.
  • Ideal for Using Leftovers: Got some leftover roast ham lingering in your fridge? This recipe is your ticket to zero waste. It’s not just about the ham, though – those veggies drawing their last breath in your crisper drawer can also find a noble use.
  • No Pre-Cooking or Soaking Needed: Simplify your cooking with this dump-and-go recipe! No need to soak the lentils or pre-cook any of the ingredients. Just add everything to the slow cooker and let it do its thing.
  • Budget-Friendly Meal: As the designated grocery shopper, finding recipes that are both nutritious and economical can be… A challenge, to say the least. But this lentil soup with ham hock? It ticks all the boxes!

Ingredients to make Slow Cooker Lentil & Ham Soup

  • Lentils: No need to pre-soak these little gems – they’ll cook up perfectly in the slow cooker. Green or brown lentils are your best bet for holding their shape and texture.
  • Diced Ham ( or 1 large hock): If you’ve got leftover ham from a roast, this is your chance to let it shine! A hock will infuse the soup with a deep, smoky flavor, while diced ham adds hearty bites.
  • Carrots: They add sweetness and color to your crockpot lentil soup with ham.
  • Onions: Am I the only one who thinks they’re the foundation of any good soup? I don’t think so! They provide depth and serious flavor.
  • Low-Sodium Chicken Broth: This also forms the soup’s base. It helps the lentils cook until they’re smooth and full of flavor.
  • Diced Tomatoes: These add a nice acidity and a bit of sweetness to the soup. Fresh tomatoes can also work if you’ve got some that need to be used up ASAP.
  • Ground Black Pepper: For that warm, peppery kick.
  • Garlic Powder: Because, as I always say, garlic makes everything better! Feel free to use fresh minced garlic if you want – about 3 cloves should do the trick.
Overhead shot of ingredients to make slow cooker lentil soup with ham on a white surface before cooking

How to make Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham

  1. Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle in the garlic powder and black pepper, then stir to distribute the seasonings evenly.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth, ensuring that the ingredients are well submerged for even cooking.
  4. Set your slow cooker to the low setting and let the soup cook for about 6 hours. Once cooked, season with salt to taste.
  5. If you used a ham hock, remove it, shred any meat, discard the fat and bone, and return the meat to the soup.
A step by step image collage on how to make slow cooker lentil soup with ham showing the ingredients placed in the slow cooker, ingredients being seasoned, and cooked soup
  • Veggie Power-Up: Who says you can’t have more greens (or reds, or yellows)? Toss in some spinach, kale, or Swiss chard in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Or, throw in some diced sweet potatoes or butternut squash at the start for a sweet, hearty chunkiness.
  • Switch Up the Protein: Instead of ham, you can use meatballs, bacon, or sliced smoked sausage to steer the flavor in a whole new direction!
  • Parmesan Rind Goodness: If you happen to have a Parmesan rind stashed away, adding it to your soup as it cooks can really step it up. It slowly melts and infuses the soup with a nutty, cheesy depth that’s absolutely irresistible.
  • Make it Vegan: If you wanna make this ham and lentil soup recipe vegan, skip the meat altogether and add a dash of liquid smoke for that signature smoky flavor. Also, swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth. It’s that simple, y’all!

Tips for making the best lentil soup with ham

  1. Sautee for Flavor: Before tossing those onions into the slow cooker, give them a quick sauté in a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. It isn’t necessary, but it certainly unlocks a depth of sweet, rich flavor that’ll make your lentil soup even more irresistible.
  2. Layer Your Ingredients: Start with your lentils at the bottom, then layer in the ham, veggies, and finally, your seasonings before pouring the broth over everything. This ensures the lentils cook evenly and soak up all the flavors from the ham and spices
  3. Check the Lentils: While slow cookers are pretty reliable for cooking lentils perfectly, it’s a good idea to check them about an hour before the end of cooking time. If they’re tender sooner than expected, you might want to switch the slow cooker to “warm” to prevent them from turning mushy.
  4. Rest for Best Results: Once your slow cooker ham and lentil soup is done, let it sit for about 10 minutes after turning off the slow cooker. This will allow the flavors to meld together even more and it cools the soup just enough to be at the perfect temperature for serving.
Closeup of a bowl of slow cooker lentil soup with ham with chunks of ham and sliced carrots

How to store & reheat Lentil Soup with Ham

Store your lentil soup in an airtight container and pop it in the fridge. When you’re ready for another serving, simply reheat it on the stove over medium heat until it’s warm throughout. If it’s a little thick, splash in some broth or water to get the right consistency. Microwave works too, just stir occasionally to heat evenly.

How long will Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham last in the fridge?

This hearty soup will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, making it perfect for meal prep or enjoying leftovers throughout the week.

Can I freeze crockpot lentil soup with ham?

For sure! Transfer it to freezer-safe bags or containers, leaving a bit of space for expansion. Label with the date, and you’re good to go. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy some good soup again, let it thaw overnight in the fridge and heat it up on the stove or in the microwave.

What to serve with Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham

  • Crisp Green Salad: A vibrant green salad is like the cool best friend to your hearty slow cooker ham and lentil soup. I usually toss together whatever greens I have lying around, add some sweet cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and drizzle it all with a zesty vinaigrette. But you can get wild and experiment with more greens!
  • Garlic Bread: Honestly, is there anything garlic bread can’t make better? Whenever I whip up this soup, I HAVE to have some garlic bread on the side. It’s perfect for scooping up the savory, smoky goodness.
  • Roasted Veggies: Roasting some veggies is another fantastic way to go. Last week, I did carrots, parsnips, and a few Brussels sprouts with a sprinkle of sea salt and olive oil. They came out SO caramelized and SO delicious.

Frequently asked questions

Is there a way to thicken the soup?

There are a couple of tricks to thicken it up. One way is to remove a cup or two of the soup, blend it until smooth, and then stir it back into the pot. Or, you can mash some of the lentils directly in the slow cooker with a potato masher. Also, a cornstarch slurry works well here. Do 1.5 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons of cold water.

My lentils came out slightly undercooked. What happened?

It’s possible your lentils are a bit on the older side. While pre-soaking isn’t generally necessary for slow cooking, giving your lentils a quick soak can help, especially if they’re older.

Can I use a different type of lentil for this recipe?

Absolutely! But keep in mind that green and brown lentils hold their shape well after long cooking times, making them ideal for this slow cooker soup. Red or yellow lentils tend to break down and thicken the soup, but you can use them and lower the cooking time.

A bowl of slow cooker lentil soup served with garlic bread on a side, raw lentils scattered on the table, and a spoon on a striped cloth

I’ve made this Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham recipe as simple as can be. Just toss everything into the slow cooker, give it a good stir, and then let that low, gentle heat weave its magic. It gives you maximum flavor with minimal effort! Plus, it lets your kiddos know that whenever the cold strikes, mama will always be there with a homemade, cozy meal to warm ’em up.

More Easy slow cooker recipes:

I want to hear from you! If you try this easy Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham recipe or any other of my easy recipes on Dinner in 5, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I read all the comments and respond!

Overhead shot of a bowl of slow cooker lentil soup with ham, served with garlic bread on a side plate and a spoon on a striped cloth
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Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Ham

Hearty slow cooker lentil soup with ham, super easy to make uses 6 ingredients and feeds a family of 6+! The smoky ham and chewy lentils make this soup!
No ratings yet
Author Jackie
Servings 8 servings
Course Main Course
Calories 273
Prep Time 20 minutes
0 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups uncooked lentils rinsed
  • 2 cups ham, diced or 1 large ham hock
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle in the garlic powder and black pepper, then stir to distribute the seasonings evenly.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, ensuring that the ingredients are well submerged for even cooking.
  • Set your slow cooker to the low setting and let the soup cook for about 6 hours. Once cooked, season with salt to taste.
  • If you used a ham hock, remove it, shred any meat, discard the fat and bone, and return the meat to the soup.

Notes

  • Sautee for Flavor: Before tossing those onions into the slow cooker, give them a quick sauté in a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. It isn’t necessary, but it certainly unlocks a depth of sweet, rich flavor that’ll make your lentil soup even more irresistible.
  • Layer Your Ingredients: Start with your lentils at the bottom, then layer in the ham, veggies, and finally, your seasonings before pouring the broth over everything. This ensures the lentils cook evenly and soak up all the flavors from the ham and spices
  • Check the Lentils: While slow cookers are pretty reliable for cooking lentils perfectly, it’s a good idea to check them about an hour before the end of cooking time. If they’re tender sooner than expected, you might want to switch the slow cooker to “warm” to prevent them from turning mushy.
  • Rest for Best Results: Once your slow cooker ham and lentil soup is done, let it sit for about 10 minutes after turning off the slow cooker. This will allow the flavors to meld together even more and it cools the soup just enough to be at the perfect temperature for serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 273kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 541mg, Potassium: 908mg, Fiber: 17g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 5176IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American

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