Meal Prep Sunday: Slow Cooker Edition

You guys know how much I love food prep Sundays. Well cooking all day isn’t the most fun, but having healthy meals all week and not having to cook every night is the best! So I make it work LOL. Today I wanted to share an easy recipe to make in the crockpot or slow cooker. I let this simmer all day and then portion into various glass containers and jars for my work lunches and some dinners too. It’s a great soup for these cold and wet last days of winter. At least I hope winter is ending soon! I literally found so many recipes by Googling “healthy crockpot recipes” so give that a try to find a recipe that you love.

This is a vegetable soup with lots of great winter vegetables and even some red lentils I found thanks to A Beautiful Plate. I’m not vegetarian, but I do eat a lot of meatless meals throughout the week. Please enjoy and tell me what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled, and diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and chopped into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup split red lentils
  • 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes (with their juices)
  • 2 pieces of parmigiano-reggiano rind
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt, plus more
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 cups finely sliced savoy cabbage, reserved for later
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley (or basil), for garnishing
  • freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for garnishing

Directions:

  1. If you own a stovetop-safe slow cooker insert: Heat the olive oil in the insert over medium heat on the stove. Add the onion and celery and saute until tender, 5 to 7 minutes, before transferring to the slow cooker and continuing with the instructions below.
  2. If you do not own a slow cooker with a stovetop-safe insert (or wish to skip step one): Place the insert on the slow-cooker base (this recipe will fit a 4-quart capacity slow cooker). Add the olive oil, onion, celery, carrot, zucchini, potatoes, split red lentils, chopped tomatoes, parmigiano rind, bay leaves, thyme, chicken stock, kosher salt, and black pepper. Stir together. Cook on high heat for 4-6 hours, or until the red lentils are tender (or alternatively, cook on low heat for 8-10 hours).
  3. In the last hour of cook time (or 2 hours, if you are cooking over low heat), add the thinly sliced cabbage. Remove and discard the dried bay leaves and any tough thyme sprigs. Adjust the seasoning to taste salt and pepper – you will most likely need to be liberal on the salt for this soup!
  4. Serve the soup and top each serving with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley, and freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano.

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