Thanks to Jessica for doing the soup swap again this fall! Check out her site for lots of links to tried and true soup recipes.
Here's a delicious recipe from my new, favorite slow cooker vegetarian soup cookbook, 125 best Vegetarian Slow Cooker recipes. I checked out lots of vegetarian soup and slow cooker cookbooks from the library and this one was my favorite, by far.
Mediterranean Lentil Soup with Spinach (slow cooker recipe)
It doesn't look pretty, but it is such a delicious, thick and hearty stew that's perfect for fall and winter months.
1 cup green lentils
1 TBS vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp cumin OR 1 tsp toasted cumin seed, crushed
zest of one lemon
1 potato, peeled and grated
6 cups of vegetable stock
8oz fresh spinach leaves
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
Directions:Place lentils in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
Heat oil over medium heat. Cook onions, celery, and carrots, stirring until softened for about 5 minutes. Add garlic cumin and lemon zest and cook for 1 minute. Transfer mixture to slow cooker, add lentils, shredded potato and stock.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. When vegetables are tender, add spinach and lemon juice. Cover and cook on high for 20 minutes until spinach is cooked and mixture is hot and bubbling.
I just realized that I should have chopped the spinach before adding it to the soup. I just placed whole spinach leaves into the soup. It's a little hard to chew whole, cooked spinach, so I would definitely recommend chopping it first.
The book recommends toasted cumin seeds. I've tried both toasted seeds and regular cumin and the toasted, crushed seeds were definitely tastier. I was surprised that I could tell the difference, but I'd definitely stick with the toasted, crushed cumin seeds.