It's been cold, rainy and -- thankfully -- really quiet here after the holidays, which means there's plenty of time for me to make warm soup to fill everyone's belly. Even though I've been in less of a rush than usual, that doesn't mean I'm not looking for ways to make life easier for myself in the kitchen. So, time once again to break out my crock pot! All I do is toss in some lentils, a few herbs and a mix of vegetables from the farmer's market and serve it with a dollop of herbed goat cheese on top, which the kids love swirling in to their soup. This recipe makes enough so that I can freeze half for cold, lazy nights when I don't have any time to cook -- which I anticipate happening quite a bit once school starts up again!
Crock Pot Lentil Veggie Stew (Serves 8-10)
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 2 leeks, chopped (use only the white and light green part of the leek)
- 2 Large Carrots, chopped
- 3 Celery Stalks, chopped
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Tbsp Fresh OR 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 2 Tsp Kosher Salt
- 8 Cups Vegetable Stock (you could also use chicken stock)
- 1 32 Oz Can Chopped Tomatoes with juice
- 16 Oz Dried Lentils
- 2 Cups Kale or Swiss Chard, chopped
Preparation1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook the onions for 4 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
3. Place the onion mixture with the remaining ingredients in a crock pot and stir.
4. Cover and cook the lentils on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 8 hours or until lentils are tender.
5. Top with desired accompaniment and serve.
* You can also place all of the ingredients in a large pot over low to medium heat and cover for 90 minutes or until tender.
plain yogurt, herbed goat cheese, feta cheese, crème fraiche or Parmesan cheese