Recipe Review

I Tried Reese Witherspoon’s “Delicious” Lentil Soup, and It’s So Cozy, I’m Making It Every Sunday

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3 bowls of lentil soup with bread and spoons
Credit: Kiersten Hickman

Soup in the winter is pretty much my love language — especially if it’s made in a slow cooker. It makes for easy, cozy meals in the wintertime that don’t take too much effort, and it seems Reese Witherspoon is in agreement. A big fan of the slow cooker herself, she took to Instagram to share her favorite slow cooker lentil recipe. So of course, given how much I loved her pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and her Southern biscuits, I already had high hopes for her take on this traditional wintertime soup.

Now here’s where the recipe gets a little tricky: Reese doesn’t share any measurements! While she does give a list of ingredients she used in the soup, the actual measurements for each one (besides using two cups of dried lentils) is a mystery. So after doing some initial research, I decided to estimate what the measurements could be in this soup and make my own version. 

However, the lack of measurements wasn’t the real challenge when making this soup; it was the fact that I hate lentils. But curiosity got the best of me; I wondered if her slow cooker lentil soup recipe could convert me into a lentil lover. Will this soup be the key to unlocking my love for this legume? Let’s find out.

Watch on Instagram: Reese Witherspoon’s Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Credit: Kiersten Hickman

How to Make Reese Witherspoon’s Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

First, prepare your vegetables for the soup. Dice one small yellow onion and two celery stalks into small pieces. Dice four carrots into 1/2-inch round circles. Mince four garlic cloves.

Heat a skillet over medium heat with one tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the onion, celery stalks, carrots, and minced garlic into your skillet and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should begin to get soft and translucent. 

While the vegetables are cooking, rinse and drain two cups of lentils. Reese prefers to use green lentils for her soup, if you have them. 

Once everything is ready, start to dump the ingredients into the slow cooker. Add the vegetables, the rinsed lentils, as well as a six-ounce can of tomato paste, and two teaspoons each of coriander, cumin, and paprika. Pour in six cups of vegetable broth on top.

If desired, you can also add in sausage like Reese did! I choose to use three links of sweet Italian sausage in mine by tearing off the casing and pulling apart the sausage into bite-sized pieces. The sausage will cook in the broth (and add flavor!) so no need to cook it beforehand.

Cook the lentil soup on high for four hours, or low for eight. Serve with slices of thick artisanal bread for dipping, as well as any toppings you desire like fresh parsley or shredded Parmesan cheese.

Credit: Kiersten Hickman

My Honest Review

I’m not kidding when I tell you that this soup was so good that it did the impossible: it turned me into a lentil lover. After years of thinking that I hated lentils, one bite of this saucy, savory soup, and I am officially a convert.

First, I have to say that adding in that sausage last minute really was the key to success for this soup. The sausage added that fatty flavor with each bite that really rounded out the vegetable soup nicely. I mean, maybe that was my problem all along–maybe I just needed a fatty sausage to flavor my lentils in order to like them.

The consistency of the soup was also a winner for me; it was thick and hearty, which is generally not what you would expect with a vegetable soup. The lentils soaked up enough of the liquid making the soup not overly brothy, with each spoonful of soup full of lentil, vegetable, sausage goodness. The flavor is really what wins here, which I think is also a testament to the spices that are added in the soup. 

So, as a self-proclaimed lentil hater, will I be making this soup again? Yes, 100 percent, sign me up. Maybe even next week. Reese, you’ve done it again!

2 Tips for Making Reese Witherspoon’s Lentil Soup

  1. Add a parmesan rind: One of my all-time favorite soup tricks is to add a Parmesan rind to the broth to give it an extra punch of flavor. I typically save my Parmesan rinds in a plastic bag in my fridge (yes, I go through freshly shredded Parmesan that quickly), so I’ll simply toss one in when I’m making soup. Just make sure to toss the rind when the soup is ready to serve.
  2. Use Better Than Bouillon for the stock: I also used a Better Than Bouillon vegetable base for this, which I find to have a lot more flavor than a normal vegetable stock and benefited the overall flavor. Plus, given that Reese does not call for adding any extra salt and pepper, I think the flavor in this base gives it enough of that oomph that you don’t need to add more seasoning.