On the plane ride home, I started making plans for recreating some of the faboulous meals I’d had on my vacation – Ottolenghi’s basmati and wild rice salad, the appeltaart from the Old Church cafÃ© in Amsterdam and the Moutabal I ate atop the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris; I was going to make them all… as soon as we landed.
And then I got home and got sick; a lingering cold and melancholy, and then the thick fog came, eerie and haunting, covering the city for days… like a setting for some mystical novel.
Feeling poorly and cold and forlorn in ‘perpetual fog city’ put a damper on my desire to recreate cheery meals – instead, I wanted soup… lots of warm, thick, soothing and filling soups.
A hearty bowl of soup seemed more suitable for the mood, and this slow cooker lentil soup is just the ideal soup for the occasion; it’s brothy and filling with chunks of vegetables, and so, so easy to make.
It’s probably the very first soup I think of when the temperature drops, and the trees start turning colour and shedding.
And because it’s easy, adaptable and oh so deliciously comforting, I usually make it a few times throughout the colder months.
Sometimes I sautÃ© the vegetables first before they go in the slow cooker, by all means do that if you have time – like I said, this recipe is very versatile – you can also add your favourites… like cubed potatoes or sweet potatoes, other root vegetables, rice, quinoa, chopped apples… etc.
Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
- 2 cups of dried green lentils, washed and drained
- 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 – 7 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 serrano pepper (or less/more), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon salt, or (less/more) to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or (less/more) to taste
- Handful chopped cilantro
- Put lentils in the bowl of your slow cooker
- Add leeks, carrots, onions, garlic and tomato paste
- Add olive oil and vegetable broth, and stir
- Add serrano pepper and minced garlic
- Add oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary
- Cover and cook at medium-low for 4 hours, stir soup two hours into cooking
- Add the salt and black pepper after 4 hours, and cook for another 1 – 2 hours
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, and check the lentils, they should be tender
- Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve hot