These are soup days. I love a good soup on a cool or downright cold, night. Soup soothes, warms and comforts like few foods are able. And a soup that is ready, waiting for me after a long day? Well, sign me up!
I've been working on a good lentil soup for some time. Lentils are crazy healthful for you, high in protein, iron, fiber and loads of good nutrients while being low in calories. I've had a few go rounds in trying to come up with a good flavor combination, and I think I have finally nailed it.
This original recipe uses lentils, a bit of quinoa (optional, you could omit) and a bag of frozen peas, carrots, corn and green beans for added convenience. Saute one onion while you gather up the rest of the ingredients, and in about 10-15 minutes, you have dinner on its way to being ready before you even start your busy day.
Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
1 tablespoon vegetable or extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 - 15 oz can broth (chicken, or vegetable if you want to make this vegetarian/vegan)
6 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups uncooked lentils
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
10 oz bag (or use about 3/4 of a 16 oz bag) frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn and green beans)
1 cup packed spinach, kale or other green, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
fresh chopped parsley or other herb for garnish, optional
In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, or until translucent and slightly browned.
Add to a large slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, except red wine vinegar and fresh parsley.
Cook on HI for 6-8 hours, LOW for 12-14 hours. Add red wine vinegar, stir well. Serve and top with fresh parsley (optional).
Serves 8, and freezes well.
**You may add chopped bacon, ham, sausage or other meat if your family desires.**
Life is sweet,