Last semester I loved Tuesdays, and this time it’s Wednesdays. I just love having late mornings–I can sleep in (’til eight), catch up on our budgeting, clean, and still have time to set up dinner in the crock pot before I have class. Now that is just amazing.
So here’s the latest and greatest from that lovely little invention known to we mortals as a slow cooker:
(update: some reviews on this recipe have been mixed. Read comments and feel free to adjust as you see fit. Some have found that as-written works well, and not for others. The dangers of imprecise slow-cooking!).
Lentil Vegetable and Barley Soup
- 1/2 large onion or one small onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 medium summer squash (or zucchini), halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
- 1 C carrots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 C red lentils
- 1/2 C yellow split peas
- 1/2 C barley
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 3 C vegetable broth (or chicken or beef), plus ~2 C extra water
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t sugar
- 1/4 t black pepper
- fresh or dried basil to top (optional)
As with all crock pot recipes, this is a breeze to put together. Dice and layer all the veggies, and top with the grains, liquids and the spices (except the basil). The order I used was: onions and bell peppers, squash and carrots, lentils, peas, and barley, diced tomatoes and broth, salt, pepper, sugar, and finally the extra water.
Aren’t the colors of this soup just gorgeous? I was lucky and actually got to take pictures in daylight for once (another great thing about late mornings).
Set the crock pot on low for eight hours or on high for four hours. The lentils, peas, and barley will absorb a lot of water, so you may need to add even more extra (unless you like a nice thick soup like I do–then you will be very pleased when you arrive home from class!).
Top with a sprinkle of basil and some pepper and enjoy!
Before I’m off to bed, I thought I’d share one last thing with you. It’s a favorite of mine–I have some every day (often two or three times), and it calms me while awakening me at the same time. It’s warm, it’s comforting, it’s a blast in a glass.
Nope, not Deena from J-Shore (is it cool that I abbreviated that?). It’s tea. The best tea I have even been given the privilege to steep. I’m nearing the end of the tin and every day I die a little more inside knowing that I’m one day closer to running out (melodramatic, much?). It was a gift–a great one.
I would like to thank a certain South African for allowing this beautiful marriage between me and Zululand to happen–you know who you are.