Slow Cooker Winter Vegetable Soup with Split Red Lentils
Abundant winter vegetable soup with split red lentils. This healthy clay pot recipe is filled with vegetables, split red lentils and finished with a splash of olive oil, chopped parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Today is a great day! This slow-cooking winter vegetable soup with split red lentils is the first clay pot soup recipe to adorn the blog. Healthy vegetable soups are my jam. Strain the confetti and break the clay pots!
Many of you have been asking (for some time now) to share slow cooker recipes and while I always want to accommodate any recipe requests you throw at me, I didn’t actually have a slow cooker machine until about six months ago.
It’s probably the only kitchen appliance I’ve maintained over the years.
Can I confess something? For a long time, I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Feel free to hate me a little.
I’m a firm believer in sautéing and browning (hello flavor!) and felt like I’d be betraying my favorite Dutch oven, because I’m weird that way.
On the other hand, the idea of throwing everything into a slow cooker in the morning, leaving the house if necessary, and returning to a fully prepared dinner was incredibly appealing. Who wouldn’t love that?! The good news? You can get slow cookers with stove-safe inserts, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
This soup can be prepared in two ways: you can choose to sauté the onions beforehand (which will help maximize their flavor) or you can simply throw them in the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients, turn on the machine and walk away. I’ve tried it both ways and the soup still comes out great.
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This soup is all about vegetables and is full of they.
Onions, celery, carrot, zucchini, chopped canned tomatoes and thinly sliced Savoy cabbage. Yukon golden potatoes are also added (no peeling required) to help increase the volume a little. My mom actually made a very similar soup for us when we were growing up, and I always loved it.
Abundant and extremely filling, but you don’t feel overwhelmed at all. It’s the perfect soup to enjoy on a cold, dreary winter day, especially if you have access to a good loaf of crusty bread.
An important tip I realized after trying this recipe several times was the importance of fresh (or at least,
fresh!) red lentils! possible!) Yes, all lentils in the store are dry. But if you’ve been hanging from a mason jar full of split red lentils for, mmm, maybe a year, I blame the measure, please don’t use them for this.
Older lentils tend to dry out even more and will take much longer to cook and become tender. Try to find a fresh bag of them at the grocery store or choose them from a bulk container that refreshes frequently (i.e. not the bag of lentils that has been in your convenience store for three years on the top shelf).
I love split red lentils, because they are delicate and small, but they break down in the cooking process and help thicken the soup. They’re also incredibly good for you and contain lots of fiber and protein.
Don’t forget to finish the soup by drizzling it with a touch of olive oil, sprinkled parsley and a generous pile of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
It’s the important finishing touch.