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01.12.2014

109 ratings, avg : 3.54
4
3.5lt

A classic Greek lentil soup gets revamped with the addition of peanut butter, for a bit of an African flair, and bulgur wheat, to help make it thicker and heartier. Some spinach at the end sends this dish further up the healthiness scale, and the slow cooker method sends it straight to the top of the easiness scale.

There are a couple of words up above that I’m not sure exist, but I do know you understand what I mean by them. Healthy and easy, when combined with tasty and filling, spell “all-round winner” in my book. This soup is a great winter warmer, loaded with iron and seriously satisfying no matter how hungry you might be. I strongly recommend a side dish that has some sort of vegetable or fruit with vitamin C, as this helps the body absorb the iron. A salad with yellow pepper or citrus fruit maybe? Of course the spinach helps too as this also contains vitamin C.

About the peanut butter, I don’t think there is much to say. I absolutely adore it, so adding it to lentils wasn’t a difficult decision to make. The taste is very discreet, especially in the quantity described below, so next time I will definitely double it. But if you’re not sure you’ll like it, here is a good place to start. The bulgur or cracked wheat adds to the texture making the soup wonderfully thick and creamy, something that lentils will do on their own but only after a fairly long time in the slow cooker. This is a lovely wintery dish, but it would also go down very well during Lent here in Greece, since it’s also vegan. I think I might make it again next week…

Ingredients

1 onion, small, finely chopped

1 ½ cups brown lentils

5 cups vegetable stock, hot

2 cups water, hot

4 Tbs bulgur / cracked wheat

1 Tbs tomato paste

1/2 tsp cumin, powdered

1/4 tsp pepper, freshly ground (I used mixed colours)

1/8 tsp chilli powder

1 bay leaf

4 Tbs peanut butter

1 or 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves

Show me more ideas and suggestions

You can use regular spinach but it would be best to add it half way through cooking so it has a chance to cook through properly. If you aren’t home, you can blanch it before adding it near the end (as mentioned above). You could also use other leafy greens like kale, chard or beetroot leaves. For the beetroot leaves and maybe the chard I suggest you add them at the beginning with the other ingredients.

Step 1

Put the onion, lentils, stock, water, bulgur wheat, tomato paste and spices into the slow cooker insert. Cook on low for about 9 hours. Turn to high, add the peanut butter and spinach, stir and cook for another 45 minutes till the soup reaches desired consistency.

109 ratings, avg : 3.54
Link Love

Lentils and Peanut Butter – It’s been done before!
African Inspired Vegetarian Crockpot Soup with Peanut Butter, Chiles, Brown Rice, and Lentils by Kalyn’s Kitchen

So, what do you think? Leave me a comment!

16 Comments

  • Reply
    Patrick
    08/01/2015

    Looks really good! I’m going to try it, but using quick-cooking barley in place of the bulgar…..it should have a similar effect(thickening the stew). Yum.

    • Reply
      09/01/2015

      That’s a great idea! Glad you like the recipe, let me know how it turns out! Thanks for visiting

  • Reply
    09/01/2015

    This recipe sounds interesting, but I can’t get it to print properly.

    • Reply
      09/01/2015

      Thanks very much Suzette. Sorry about the printing probs, I’ve let my web developer know about it and hopefully it will be fixed soon. All the best.

  • Reply
    Brandy
    09/01/2015

    This sounds really great! Just curious:how could i make this so it’s gluten free? My husband has celiacs disease. Thanks!

    • Reply
      10/01/2015

      Hi Brandy! Thank you! I think the soup would also be nice with rice or quinoa instead of the bulgur wheat (in the same quantity). You can choose whether to add it at the beginning or an hour before the end of cooking time, depending on the consistency you want. If either go in at the beginning they will probably go mushy. For me this was what I wanted, basically to help thicken the soup. Hope this helps! Let me know how it turns out if you try it.

    • Reply
      Katy
      19/01/2015

      That was my question too, making it gluten free. I think I’m going to try buckwheat. I did an internet search and from what I’ve read it should be a good switch for the bulgur wheat as far as cooking time and water needs etc. The sources said it has a slightly nuttier flavor, but I’ve liked that in the other things I’ve tried it in–I just haven’t had to use it as a one on one substitute in a recipe like this before

      • Reply
        19/01/2015

        Hi Katy. That’s a fantastic idea, my mind didn’t go to buckwheat at all as a gf substitute (probably the name doesn’t help!). It sounds like a very interesting alternative, I think I might try it myself!

  • Reply
    sarah
    10/01/2015

    could one use a different type of nut butter, almond or cashew perhaps?

  • Reply
    Amy
    12/01/2015

    This recipe sounds really great! Is this made with dry lentils or did you soak them first? Also, is the bulgar cooked or dry? My husband and I really want to make this!

    • Reply
      12/01/2015

      Glad you like the look of this! Lentils (brown) and wheat are both dry. No pre-soaking or pre-cooking required. Makes it all so much easier!

  • Reply
    Joanna
    22/01/2015

    I know I should be more patient, but do you think I could cook this on high for half the time? Or maybe even…do 2 hours on high and the remaining 5 hours on low? I want to make this for dinner tonight and already stocked up on the ingredients. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Reply
      23/01/2015

      Hi Joanna. I like my lentils quite mushy and I find they need extra time in the slow cooker in order to get that way. I’m sure they would be cooked enough after 2+5 hours as described, but they might still have a bit of bite to them. I would leave them on high for as long as possible, and keep checking on them. Let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    PAT
    19/09/2015

    It just so happens, I have a bag of Lentels in my pantry, but not sure I would like it by itself, without another bean or pasta. I’ll try it though when it gets cooler here in Florida.

    • Reply
      23/09/2015

      Hi Pat! It is quite lentil-y tasting, so if you’re not keen on lentils you might want to mix something else in there too. Maybe some extra bulgur wheat or some rice… Watch out for the liquid though, you may need some more. Let me know how it goes!