Easy Slow Cooker Green Lentil Soup

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Lentil soup has been on my mind for the past couple months. For some reason, the thought of cooking lentils was intimidating, since my family didn’t eat them growing up and I was never taught how to cook them. To my delight, an article showed up in my email inbox entitled, “Lentil Soup Without a Recipe”. This was just the motivation I needed to start thinking about actually making this soup. While cooking soup on the stove-top is my usual go-to cooking method, I wanted to use my slow cooker to be able to leave it alone and bring that heavenly homemade soup aroma into my apartment while I worked. After browsing a few recipes, I was confident I’d be able to conjure up the exact soup I was longing for. I must admit, this was one of the easiest recipes and requires minimal prep. Feel free to experiment with adding your favorite vegetables and spices!

Easy Slow Cooker Green Lentil Soup

Inspired by Food 52 and these two recipes

Ingredients:

4 cups water

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups green lentils, rinsed

1 sweet potato peeled and chopped

3 carrots peeled and chopped

3 ribs of celery, chopped

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 bunches kale, washed and chopped

3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley

Directions:

Add all ingredients to slow cooker except for kale and Italian parsley. Wait to add these until the last 10 minutes before serving. Set heat at low if heating for 7-8 hours, or set at high if heating for 4-5 hours. Serve warm with your favorite crusty bread or a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro!

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Food for thought: Which is your favorite color lentil to cook with?

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Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

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As we head into the winter months, making a pot of hearty, spicy soup may just do the trick to warm your body and please your palate. Creating a soup with odds and ends in your fridge along with some unfamiliar ingredients from your spice rack may give you that confidence that yes, you ARE a fabulous cook! It’s a great way to experiment with tastes and textures of foods you are longing to eat together in one spoonful. For me, the taste of carrot and sweet potato crossed my mind. I share with you the results. It will be sure to warm your body through.

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

4 ¼ cups Free Range Chicken Broth Low Sodium, divided

1 yellow onion, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped

1 bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you aren’t a fan of ‘heat’ in your soup, I would reduce to a pinch)

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

Optional garnish:

¼ cup raw pecans

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat ¼ cup broth in a six quart pot over medium heat. Once heated, add in the onions and garlic. Stir the mixture occasionally until the onions are softened.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, bay leaf and 3 cups broth. Cover and turn to medium high heat to start simmering. Once simmering, turn heat down to medium and simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add remaining spices. Simmer another 5-7 minutes until potatoes and carrots are soft enough to pierce with a fork.
  4. Add last cup of broth, simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Take out bay leaf.
  6. Use a ladle to scoop soup into blender, filling one third of the way full.
  7. Use oven mitt to hold lid down and blend until smooth.
  8. Enjoy!

Optional garnish: Heat iron skillet, add olive oil and brown pecans 3-5 minutes.Top soup with pecans.

Winter Vegetable Soup

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Colder weather is upon us, which means soup season is here. There is nothing like the smell of garlic and onion sizzling in olive oil, starting the base of a hearty soup. Soup is one of those one-pot meals that once cooked, can last for days with the same sense of delight and satisfaction when eating it, as the first day. Not to mention your kitchen will have the lingering aroma of carrots, celery and herbs for a day or two.

Being brought up on canned soups, the thought of making soup from scratch was always a little daunting. Recipes were always a must to start cooking anything, making my own modifications as seemed fit. After recognizing typical ingredients and serving sizes of herbs and spices in soup recipes, I decided to embark on my own soup making adventure. The following recipe is the result of my first home-made soup recipe that I am able to call my own. I am thrilled to be able to share it with you!

Winter Vegetable Soup

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

Turkey:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ cup low sodium free range chicken broth

Soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped

1 pound celery, chopped

3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 ¾ cup low sodium free range chicken broth, divided

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon dried basil

Dash cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, brown the ground turkey, about 8-10 minutes.  When browned, add oregano, basil, salt and broth. Simmer over low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  2. As the turkey is browning, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a six quart pot. Once heated, add in the onions and garlic. Stir the mixture occasionally until the onions are softened.
  3. Stir in the carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, 1 bay leaf and 1 ¾ cup broth to onion mixture. Stir occasionally and simmer about 5 minutes.IMG_0062
  4. Add in the remaining herbs and spices, keep at a simmer until potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a fork, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once potatoes are soft, add in and stir turkey into vegetable mixture.
  6. Add the remaining 2 cups broth to the pot and simmer on low-medium heat 10-15 minutes to meld the flavors.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Enjoy!

** Add chopped mushrooms to soup when re- heating to give extra earthiness to the dish.

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