Slow Cooker Southwest Lentil Soup

I love crockpot meals. I love throwing ingredients in the morning and coming home to a delicious meal ready made for me. Joe and I like to make crockpot meals on Wednesdays (which is Dungeons and Dragons night) so that we don’t have to worry about cooking when we are also meeting up with a bunch of other people in different time zones online. Lately, I’ve really wanted to find more vegetarian slow cooker recipes, which lead me to try this soup. Joe and I both liked it a lot and because it’s so easy we will certainly make it again often!

Continue reading “Slow Cooker Southwest Lentil Soup”

Easy, Delicious, Cheap – Bean and Lentil Soup with Pumpkin and Spinach

Every fall when I am waiting in the check-out line at the grocery store, my gaze becomes trapped by the recipe magazines displayed in the rack next to the gum and candy. They are always orange; the bright pumpkins or candy corn or sweet potatoes directing me like traffic cones and without fail I find myself paging through the seasonal recipes thinking how delicious everything sounds, how I would love to fill my home with all of this yellow and orange food filled with the flavors of squash, apples, maple, and cinnamon. In reality, I buy an expensive magazine, drool over it, then fail to actually make any of the recipes before fall is over.

This year however, I pulled the magazines out of my cabinet, bookmarked the recipes that looked good, and told myself I really, really would make one this year. My opportunity came last Thursday, when I had taken the day off work because my good friend, Lindsey, is visiting from Portugal and I needed to spend time with her. “Does a pumpkin-lentil soup sound good?” I asked her when I was trying to decide what to cook that night. “Umm, yeah,” she said. Joe got home when I was in the middle of cooking and said he wouldn’t touch it because it sounded weird. (I secretly thought it did, too, but I wanted to try it anyway.)

When Lindsey and I sat down to eat, I found that the soup was hearty and earthy – almost like a bean chili. The pumpkin added a creaminess to it, but it’s taste was very subtle among the cumin and beans. The spinach added just the right amount of brightness to the flavor, and a good texture to keep the soup interesting so every bite was a little different. Lindsey enthusiastically said that she liked it a lot (despite her confession that she had agreed earlier only because it sounded “healthy”) and asked for the recipe so she could make it for her husband back in Portugal. “Please taste some,” I asked Joe – and when he acquiesced, he admitted that it was a lot better than he thought it would be and agreed that I should make it again. Given how easy it is to throw together, I will definitely add this one to the weeknight recipe book. Continue reading “Easy, Delicious, Cheap – Bean and Lentil Soup with Pumpkin and Spinach”

Friendship Soup (In A Jar)

Several years back, shortly before Joe and I were married, my co-workers threw me a wedding shower. They even surprised me by telling me we had a lunch meeting in one of the conference rooms and getting there before me to greet me! I was much more pleased with cake than I was with the prospect of a lunch meeting. One of my co-workers (the nutritionist, who else?) gave me a “meal in a mason jar” – some soup mix, bread mix, and brownie mix that she had put together in jars for me to make at a later time. I made it for my parents one weekend when they were visiting and loved the soup so much I asked Sarah for the recipe. Last year at Christmas, I made a similar set of meals for some of my friends. Just because you can make the soup mix ahead of time in a jar, doesn’t mean you have to, though! This soup would be delicious to make any night and serves a crowd. Continue reading “Friendship Soup (In A Jar)”

Red Lentil Dal

This past winter, I went through a spell when all I wanted to eat was beans and lentils. Joe and I made split pea soup, minestrone, lentil soups, black bean soup, chickpea curry, hummus… you name it. I desperately was trying to find my “go to” recipe for a lentil dish that I could make frequently without difficulty. Eventually, I landed on masoor dal. I already had red lentils in my pantry from making “Friendship Soup” for my friends at Christmas, and the recipe is very straight forward.

Recently, I’ve been looking for simple recipes to make after work that are filling – and the hot weather has reignited a craving for Indian food (let’s be honest, it never really goes away.) This dal recipe came out again this week. I changed things up a bit by sauteing the onion and adding it later with the spices, and using yellow mustard seeds instead of black because that is what I had on hand from pickling. Not only is it good served on rice or with naan for dinner and lunch, but this morning I put a fried egg on top and had a wonderful breakfast, too. Continue reading “Red Lentil Dal”