Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Well folks, yesterday’s football food theme was “Southern” so I was a happy, happy girl:  fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac & cheese, green beans and biscuits.  All from Lee’s.  Yum, yum, yum!  I gotta say though, these football Sundays are not doing a lot for my waistline.  It’s Monday now and I’m determined to make up a little ground.

Years ago my mom introduced me to the Jane Brody Good Food Cookbook.  She used to make this yummy lentil soup from that book.  In my many moves since then somehow my copy of the book has disappeared, but I still make the soup sometimes.  This is my first attempt at making it in the slow cooker.  There’s not a lot to it.  Some aromatics, some tomatoes, some stock, some wine and some lentils.  It’s fine for the slow cooker, but lentils cook quickly enough that this is an easy weeknight soup on the stove too.

I’ve made a few adjustments to the recipe I wrote on an index card years ago.  Today I added some celery because I had it.  I left out the marjoram because I don’t have any.  I added some turmeric because I heard that it’s good for me and it seemed like a good fit for the lentils.  It adds a slightly earthy element and a lovely yellow color.   I’d recommend a little fresh parsley at the end for just a touch of fresh flavor.  I use chicken stock because I usually have plenty in the freezer, but this soup is a good candidate for a vegetable broth too. Next time I’d probably add more lentils.

If you’re unfamiliar with lentils this dish is a nice mild introduction to them.  I use green lentils because they’re the easiest to find.  They also have more fiber than red lentils.  In general lentils are a good source of protein, fiber and folate.  They’re an easy way to add a non-animal protein to a meal.  And they’re so small that you don’t have to soak them overnight before you use them.  Cheap, quick, healthy – a good food hat trick.

If you like brothy soups this is a good one.  Virtually no fat and I can’t imagine it has many calories so you can serve it in big bowls.  It’s particularly yummy served with buttered, toasted baguette slices.  You might also want to grate a little Parmesan cheese over the top.

Good? Yep.
Easy? Easy and fast. Gotta love it.
Good for company? Not really.
Special shopping? Nope. Everything easily available in your local grocery.

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Ingredients

4 C chicken stock
1/2 C dry white wine
3/4 C lentils
1 large sweet onion, diced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
1 C matchstick carrots
2 C (or a 14.5oz can) diced tomatoes
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper

Directions

Saute onions and celery on high heat until they brown a little.
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook 4-6 hours.
If you’re adding frozen stock to the slow cooker plan to cook 6-8 hours.

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