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Crock It! Lentil Soup

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On a cold day with two doctor’s appointments, basketball, and homework I needed easy comfort food I didn’t have to “cook.” Oh, and I was looking to use up a lot of meat from the ham I cooked on a Sunday.

Lentil soup is a favorite of mine, but I’ve always made it on the stove top. Today, I didn’t have the 90 minutes to spare so it seemed like a good time to experiment with my Crock Pot. The recipe below is self-created, but probably similar to many lentil soup recipes out there and although every time I make this soup it’s a little different, these are basics to work with.

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

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Ingredients:

1 yellow onion, peeled

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

3-4 carrots, diced

1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (drained)

2 cups of chopped ham

Dried thyme

2 bay leaves

2 cups chicken stock

4 cups water

1 10oz. bag lentils, rinsed and picked over

Salt and pepper to taste

What’s Next:

Mince garlic and onion together in a food processor by pulsing 10-12 times. Place in slow cooker.

Add diced carrots and remaining ingredients. Stir together and cook on high heat for 6 hours.

Remove bay leaves before serving.

Notes from my experience:

The amount of ham you use can be adjusted either way. I like my soups hearty, so I added as much ham as I could.

Lentils absorb a lot of liquid during the cooking process, so if you need to add more water or broth based on how thick or thin you like your soup, feel free. You can also start with less liquid and add more as needed.

Many soup recipes call for celery along with the onions and carrots. I omitted it because I’m the only one in the family who eats it. So if you like celery, add 2 ribs.

Typically, lentils do not require soaking prior to cooking like other beans do. However, the lentils in this recipe never got really mushy the way they do in the stove top soup version. If you like your lentils more on the mushy side rather than the firm side, I’d cook them in boiling water first for about 20 minutes. Keep your overall cooking time the same.

Want to know more about my Crock It! series? You can read all about it here.

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