I know what you’re thinking. We’re in prime cookie baking season, and all I have for you today is a pot of lentil soup. If you’re like me, though, the balance of getting all the things crossed off your To Do list this month is a little (okay, maybe a lot) overwhelming. Sweets will be in plentiful supply, whether you’re making them, or co-workers are bringing in treats. Real food, the fuel your body needs to keep going when it’s at its busiest, can be more challenging to pull together. And kids need to eat regardless of how busy we mamas are, right? So, that’s why today, on this Monday morning, I’m sharing my recipe for Slow Cooker Lentil Soup. It’s pretty hands off for you, while the slow cooker does all the heavy lifting.
I must confess, only one of my girls likes this soup, but that is no fault of the recipe. She’s simply not a fan of soup, and lentils are apparently as dangerous to her palate as vegetables. I shall not point any fingers here. Still, I have a pretty strict one meal policy, so it’s either eat up and enjoy, just eat up, or have air—it’s free and easy to make yourself!
I’m not a total mean mommy, though. I always serve soup in tandem with some sort of grilled sandwich. On this particular night I made sautéed bell pepper, mushroom & cheddar cheese quesadillas to go with it (yep, left one quesadilla plain for my vegetable-phobic gal). I made this soup with turkey stock since I had a few quarts of it leftover from our Thanksgiving turkey. Feel free to use whatever stock you have available. See ya on the flip side with something sweet and equally yummy tomorrow!
Six Years Ago: Homemade Hot Cocoa & Chocolate Ganache
Five Years Ago: Peanut Butter Bon Bons
Four Years Ago: Christmas Past & Present
Three Years Ago: Homemade Egg Nog
Two Years Ago: Parmesan Brodo
One Year Ago: And so, the Countdown Begins
Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
Serves 10 to 12
Don’t let the long list of ingredients intimidate you. The slow cooker does all the real work here to make this soup. Really, you can use whatever stock you have on hand. Even water would be fine in a pinch since there are aromatics to season it. Be liberal with the salt. You’ll find you need more than you think (especially if you use water). Remember the lentils are uncooked, and unseasoned—give them a helping hand, and don’t skimp on salting the soup properly. If you decide to go lightl-handed on the salt, be sure to taste the soup before serving, so you can adjust (add more), if needed.
The finished soup will be rather brothy. I like to thicken mine up by using my immersion blender to puree half of the soup. It’s super easy—just stick it in the pot, and pulse while using a stirring motion for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4 carrots, cut in to coins
4 celery stalks, sliced ¼-inch thick
3 small russet potatoes, peel & cubed
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
2 cups (400 grams) uncooked lentils (I use brown and/or French lentils)
6 cups stock (vegetable or chicken, see head note)
6 tablespoons (100 grams) tomato paste
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Pecorino Locatelli cheese, to serve (optional)
Fresh chopped parsley, to serve (optional)
Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, garlic, onion, bay leaves, lentils, stock, and tomato paste to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the slow cooker on to LOW, and let cook for 7 to 8 hours, until the lentils are tender.