Thanks to Jana Riess for this extremely easy, cheap, and tasty recipe. I plan to serve this soup regularly during the Lenten Experiment, along with homemade bread and perhaps a salad. Maybe we'll even be able to afford fresh fruit for dessert...
This recipe makes at least 10 cups of soup. If you need only one or two servings, you can freeze the rest. Or throw a party.
- one pound of lentils,
- 6 cups water, chicken broth, or vegetable stock
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons minced dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
Notes from LaVonne: I followed this recipe exactly, and I ended up with a lovely thick lentil stew. Because I wanted soup, however, I added
- 1 quart (32 oz) low-sodium chicken broth
It's OK to substitute other dried beans (though you'll need to presoak them overnight before throwing them in the slow cooker) and other seasonings.
You can also toss in other mild-flavored vegetables for variety: potatoes, spinach, squash, yams... If you want to use up last night's fully cooked leftovers, add them to the pot 1/2 hour before serving--enough time to warm them up and absorb some flavor, but not so long that they turn to mush.
Garnish with celery leaves (or shaved parmesan cheese, yogurt, fresh parsley, or chives).