I probably don’t make good enough use of our slow cooker. I always say I am going to use it more but somehow it just seems to slip my mind. The problem I have is that our kitchen is small so it is not a piece of equipment I can keep on the counter and remember to use often. It is usually when I see a recipe I like that makes use of the slow cooker that it jogs my memory. That is exactly what happened with this soup recipe that I found from A Year of Slow Cooking. This recipes uses 3 different kinds of beans, which I love, and some interesting spices to create this one pot meal.
Moroccan Lentil Soup
1 cup dried lentils
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
28 ounce can diced tomatoes and juice
4 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth or water
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
Add the chopped onion, celery and carrot to the slow cooker and sprinkle over the bottom. Drain and rinse off the lentils, garbanzo beans and pinto beans and add them on top of the vegetables. Grate the ginger on top of the beans and then add in the garam masala, cayenne pepper, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in the broth or water and the diced tomatoes plus the juice. Stir the mixture to blend everything together.
Cover the slow cooker and cook the soup on low for 8 to 10 hours. Before serving the soup, use an immersible blender to pulse and blend some of the vegetables and beans together. This will help to give the soup a better texture and meld some of the flavors together.
This recipe makes a good bit of soup, so you will have leftovers for lunches or another dinner, or you could even freeze some to use as an emergency dinner for another weeknight when you don’t feel much like cooking. Garam masala is a spice blend commonly used in Northern Indian cooking that mixes together pepper, cumin, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. It really adds some nice flavor and fragrance to this dish. All of the spices work well together and give great taste to this soup and using the immersible blender really helps to give it a velvety smooth texture to finish off with. If you use vegetable stock or water in this dish, you can make it vegetarian. You get plenty of protein from all of the beans in the dish and I have had some for lunch after the dinner we had of this soup and the flavor does seem to get even better. If you want to save yourself even more time with the slow cooker, chop your vegetables the night before, get everything prepped on your counter, and then you can just throw it together in the morning before you run out the door to start your day.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I still have lots I have been working on, including a new roasted chicken dish I tried last night. I also have some other great recipes from the Cooking Channel, Food Network, Food Republic, Cook’s Country and Williams-Sonoma that I will be trying over the next few days and weeks, so check back for those. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!