RECIPE: Slow Cooker Lentil and Carrot Potage
I grew up eating lentils, either in a savory soup or with a hearty peasant pasta dish my Italian mother would make. Lentils are packed with iron and protein, great for growing children. But lentils aren't what kids go gaga for. Here is a way to sneak lentils in their dinner without them knowing, and the sweetness of the carrots brings a whole other layer of flavor to it. This soup is a nice, warm, hearty meal for fall. You let is simmer in the slow cooker, then finish it off right before serving. We heated up some La Brea Whole Grain Take and Bake bread and made a little salad, and voila! Dinner!
Slow Cooker Lentil and Carrot Potage
3 Tbsp Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt and fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp dried parsley
3 carrots, sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 generous cup of dried red lentils
4 cups chicken broth
3 bay leaves
1 small lemon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
cayenne pepper to taste (wait and add to adult servings at the end of serving children)
lemon slices, chopped fresh parsley for garnish
In a large frying pan, heat oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Stir in carrots, potato and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper and parsley and cook for 2 more minutes. Add white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, cook for 2 more minutes. Turn your slow cooker on to high.
Turn the cooker down to low, and cook for another 5 hours-or until the vegetables are soft and tender. With a spoon, pull out the bay leaves and lemon rind. Process the soup in a processor, blender, or ideally with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the cumin, cayenne (if not cooking for kids) and adjust your seasonings. Cook for another 45 minutes.
Turn the cooker to warm. Juice the lemon, and add to the soup. Serve warm, garnished with parsley, ground pepper and cayenne if adding at the end.