An excellent, flavorful soup that's perfect for fall or winter! I prefer it without the lentils, though.
- 16 oz dried lentils
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups of onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 lb. cauliflower, chopped into very small florets
- 2 leeks, white and green parts only, halved, washed carefully, and chopped)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne (very spicy-- add 1/4 tsp or less for a milder flavor)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 8 c low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 large can (32 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 c chopped kale or Swiss chard
- Plain yogurt, herbed goat cheese, feta, crème fraîche, grated Parmesan, Greek yogurt or lowfat sour cream
Sort the lentils, discarding any stones or impurities. Rinse the lentils in a wire mesh strainer.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion for about 4 minutes, till softened. Add the chopped garlic and saute for another minute.
Pour the softened onions and garlic into the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients (minus toppings).
Cover the slow cooker and turn heat to high. Set timer to 6 hours on high, or 8 hours on low, until the lentils are tender.
Serve hot with your choice of toppings.
If you'd prefer not to use a slow cooker, you can cook the stew in a large pot over medium-low to low heat, covered, for about 90 minutes until the lentils are tender.