Slow Cooker: Lentil Soup

When we moved into our own apartment, we quickly realized how great slow cookers are. We have a 2.5 quart super basic model--it has four settings: high, low, keep warm and off. It's a little bit small for two people, but a soup recipe will usually give us two generous dinner servings and one lunch serving.

When we moved out, my parents gave us a collection of beans as a moving out present. Slow cookers and beans are best friends. We use our slow cooker to make batches of garbanzos and black beans for use in salads, salsas and dips. Lentil soup is also one of the first things we made in our slow cooker.

This recipe can be as simple or complicated as you desire. We like to brown all of the aromatics in a big frying pan and then add them to the slow cooker. That takes time, but makes the house smell delicious. For the quick and easy route, chop everything in a big food processor, dump it in the slow cooker and go.

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Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
makes 2.5 servings

2 carrots
2 celery stalks
0.5 onion
3 cloves garlic
2t cumin seed {optional}
3c water or broth
1c green/brown lentils
1 28oz can tomatoes
2-3t cumin

1. {Optional} Chop/mince the carrots, celery, onion and garlic and saute in a pan over low heat until the onions are translucent. (You are trying to mingle flavors first.) Add the cumin seed. Turn the heat up to high and briefly brown the ingredients until things are just about to burn.
2. Dump all of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Turn on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
3. Garnish with cilantro or parsley, and more cumin seeds.
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