This is another one of my favorite high-protein meal soups. It’s simple and low maintenance, and comes together in just a few minutes. Let me start by saying, I enjoy cooking soup on the stove—that aromatic slow-simmering, stirring, tending, nurturing activity.
But, during the work week I usually don’t have that kind of time. The last thing I want to read in a crockpot recipe is the direction to sauté vegetables before adding them to the crockpot. If I had time to do that, well I would probably take it all the way on the stove!
Instead, I left my crock pot in charge this morning, and brisked out the door for work. By lunch time I had a rich, satisfying stew, and lots of it. I think about what a prepared cup of soup costs, about $3. For less than that, I could feed a family of four, dinner sized portions of this hearty, healthful, tasty meal. I’m just saying…
Hearty Lentil Soup
1 ½ cups raw brown lentils, rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 or 3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 or 3 stalks celery, diced
Handful of celery tops (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
Big sprig of fresh thyme (or 2 tsp. ground)
5-6 cups vegetable broth (or water)
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Prepare all ingredients and add to crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Stir and check for seasonings. Depending on your broth, you may wish to add salt. With a pair of tongs or a fork, fish out and discard the bay leaves, thyme stems and celery tops, if used. Add a generous grind of pepper and add broth if needed, depending on how “soupy” you like it.
Yield: 4-6 big servings