Thursday, November 10, 2011

French Lentil Rice Soup

So, as planned, I've been using my slow cooker this week to get some more variety in my meals.  I love having supper ready just as soon as I'm in the door.  The house smells wonderful, and I barely did anything besides prep work before leaving for work.  That's the up-side.  The downside is that not all the recipes are very photogenic.  So although they taste good, they don't look very appetizing.  But that's more the norm, isn't it?  Food rarely looks like its picture, even when it comes out perfectly.

This week was exceptional in that it was unseasonably warm.  So if I hadn't planned to use my slow cooker, I might have eaten differently because of that.  But it was also a very busy work week, so I appreciated having supper ready when I walked in the door.

This recipe appealed to me as a little change from my usual supper selections.  It features lentils as the protein, instead of chicken or beef which usually fit the bill as comfort foods this time of year.  As an added bonus, soups almost always freeze well so I'll have lots of lunches out of this and the other slow cooker creations I'm trying out.  The soup gets pureed a little at the end to add a little creaminess to the texture.  I was tempted to skip that step, but I'm glad I did it because it really did help the mouthfeel of this soup.

French Lentil Rice Soup
Makes: 4 servings

6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
3 Tbsp uncooked brown rice
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Stir together all ingredients in a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.
 Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 to 5 hours.
 Remove 1 1/2 cups of soup and puree in a food processor or blender until almost smooth. (I did this with an immersion blender.)  Stir back into soup.
 Divide into four soup bowls and serve warm.  Optionally top each bowl with a spoonful of cream and a sprinkle of parsley.


Source: Crock Pot - The Original Slow Cooker - Recipe Collection p. 77

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