Archive for the ‘Crock-pot’ Category

Lentil and Carrot Soup in the Crock-pot

October 22, 2010

Healthy and Easy Lentil and Carrot Soup

Last nights dinner was a super easy soup that is very versatile. It came about due to an abundance of carrots in my refrigerator. To buy the organic carrots you had to buy five pounds, which is a lot of carrots! So I was thinking about what to do with the carrots that would be easy and healthy. I don’t really like carrot soup, and I don’t have enough room in my freezer right now to freeze them. I do like soup with carrots in it though, so I thought about what would give it substance (since I don’t like soup that has no bite to it.) I have lentils in the pantry always, so that made sense, an then for an added depth of flavor, onions (of which I have too many as well!) The recipe below fit perfectly in a 3 1/2 quart crock-pot. This could easily be adjusted for a larger pot. If you purchase broth to use in the soup, make sure to read the label carefully. They often include soy ingredients, and even wheat ingredients. I make my own veggie broth a lot of the time too. (Another post for another day!)

Ingredients:

  • 1#Lentils (about 2 cups) (sorted and rinsed)
  • 1# Carrots (about 4 average sized) (chopped)
  • 1 Large onion (about 1/2 pound) (diced)
  • Salt to taste (1/2 to 1 teaspoon is what I use)

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 16oz can of corn (drained)
  • 6 cups of unsalted vegetable broth

Directions:

  • If desired, caramelize the onion in a hot frying pan (with or without oil.) I did not do that this time because I didn’t want to do extra dishes, but if you do it gives a much better flavor to the soup.
  • Place the lentils, carrots, and onion in the crockpot. Add 6 cups of water (or vegetable broth for more flavor)
  • Do NOT add the salt yet, it will toughen the lentils!
  • Cover your crock-pot and set it on low for 6 hours.
  • After the 6 hours are up, you have a few options, and this is where it gets to be fun!

Option 1: Stir in salt to taste and serve!

Cooked Lentil and Carrot soup (chunky)

Mmmm...chunky soup!

Option 2: Add the salt and take a stick blender to it and make a blended soup! (If you don’t have a stick blender you can use a regular blender but be very careful when blending hot items…the lid needs to be vented!) I don’t really like broth so blending it makes me eat everything, and I don’t lose the nutrients that have leached into the water!)

Blended into thick soup goodness!

Option 3: Blend the soup (or not) and add the can of corn for a burst of color, texture and sweetness!

Blended soup with corn

Option 4: Get creative! Cooked grains could be mixed in (I like brown rice in just about everything, and I have a fool-proof way of cooking it perfectly every time! ) Stewed tomatoes, salsa, mushrooms…the variations are limitless. Post your favorite ideas!

This recipe made about 3 quarts of soup, which is about 6 servings for me.

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