Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

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,


Michele Nelson said...

I used the whole 1 lb bag of lentils by mistake, added extra water but it was stil to thick....extra broth during re-heating made it PERFECT. DELICIOUS recipe, as always from your blog!

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Thanks Michele, I am so glad you enjoyed it. I really appreciate the kind words!

Anonymous said...

This sounds great. I also make a lentil soup that is a family favorite even with the kids. I thought I would add what I use just because someone told me about these ingredients. I add some balsamic vinagrette to my soup bowl just a splash, but not everyone likes that. However, everyone loves freshly grated parmesean cheese to top it off before serving. I use a small cheese grater to get a fluffy cheese. It is yummy with lentil soup.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Anonymous, great tips!!