As the days get shorter and we begin preparing for the holiday season, we might start feeling like we have less time to cook. Don’t be tempted by fast food and junk snack foods! Be prepared by planning ahead. Slow-cooker meals are a great way to save time while still eating at home and staying on a healthy plan amidst the cookies, pies, and other holiday treats that might test the button on your pants this holiday season.
Like most recipes you’ll find on this site, this recipe serves as a jumping off point. You can add, substitute, or subtract things from this recipe, and as long as you stick with the basics, it will be delicious and healthy. The portions of each ingredient are also very flexible. If you love kale, load it up! If you hate celery, put more of the other high-fiber veggies in there instead – broccoli, onions, cauliflower, etc., and leave the celery out!
I made this recipe for a potluck at work last week, and it was a big hit. This recipe is so easy that I was able to get it started in the office kitchen with nothing but a knife, a can opener, and a slow cooker.
- 2 cans French lentils (or 1 ½ dried lentils, soaked overnight)
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 3 stocks celery, chopped
- ¼ to ½ head of broccoli, chopped
- ¼ to ½ head of cauliflower, chopped
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and shredded or chopped
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
- 4 to 6 leaves of dried wakame (it’s a seaweed that’s really good for you! Lot’s of trace minerals!)
- 2 tbs Better Than Boullion OR 2 containers low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbs miso paste (I like brown rice miso. This and the wakame will give the soup umami)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbs dried parsley
- 1 tsp cayenne
- shredded dry white cheese (parmesan reggiano, asiago, pecorino romano, or a combination)
- Put everything except the cheese in the crockpot and fill with water to the top
- Set heat based on how much time you have. If you’re doing it in the morning and plan to eat it for dinner, then use the low setting and set for dinnertime (6 to 8 hours). If you only have a few hours, set it to high and give it at least 2 to 3 hours.
- Taste it to see if you need to add salt, pepper, or both
- Stir and ladle into a bowl scooping from the bottom and top with a pinch of dry white cheese.
This awesome soup can last for days in the refrigerator, and just gets better the longer it sits. Try it out and let me know what you think!