Monday, May 16, 2011

A Souper Recipe

This has been the wettest, dreariest, most disgusting spring I can remember. Constantly cold. Constantly raining. Need proof?

Yeah that's our (blurry) backyard. No, we don't live next to a lake, that's just what happens when it rains for 47 days straight. Hey, Mother Nature! If I wanted to live in England, I would live in England (and I would be paying a lot less in taxes too). I know I got wrapped up in all that Royal Wedding stuff, but I'm over it. You don't need to continue providing that extra-special London ambiance. Sheesh.

Anyway, with all the cold, damp, why-is-my-child-still-wearing-fleece-pajamas-when-it's-nearly-June weather we've been having, it's only natural that I'm still making soup for dinner. What's not to love? It's hot, it's satisfying, it's healthy, and Carl (my Crockpot) cooks it for me. Nothing will combat walking in the door from a chilly, drenching rain with a baby carrier on one arm, 4 bags on the other and a dog jonesing to go out and play in the wet grass like the smell of a slow cooker full of delicious soup that's ready to eat. Now if you're anything like me, you're going to read the title of this recipe and go "ew, curry, nasty!" But wait...let that thought marinate for a minute while I tell you that I despise curry but I am in love with this soup, mainly because if I didn't know there was curry in it I wouldn't know there was curry in it ;-) It's ridiculously healthy, it's perfect for the Crockpot, and the spices provide just enough warmth without being overpowering. I serve it with a generous dollop of sour cream on top (sour cream is my second favorite dairy product behind ice cream. If they made frozen sour cream and served it to me on a waffle cone it would be a tough call). Sweets totally digs this soup and I feel great about feeding it to him!

Now I know you didn't ask for my two cents on slow cooker recipes, but I'm going to give them to you anyway. I just say no to any crockpot recipe that calls for pre-cooking any ingredient. The beauty of the slow cooker is in its simplicity. Dump some ingredients in. Turn on. Get dinner. If I have to brown turkey or saute veggies, that simplicity is lost and that recipe is in my garbage can. Also, pretty much the only way I can manage to get dinner into the crockpot in the morning ('cause my mornings are like a 50 yard dash) is by cutting up the ingredients the night before so I can just just toss them in, give them a quick stir and get out the door. Believe me, a few minutes of slicing carrots in the p.m is well worth the time saved in the a.m! But I digress...try this soup!

Curried Lentil Soup
From Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes

4 cups hot water
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
4 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients in a 3 qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until the vegetables and lentils are tender. Eat some with your bowl of sour cream ;-) Oh wait, that's just me...

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