This soup is out of this world!
I love lentils, and this soup is going into my rotation along with Pasta with Lentils, Tomatoes & Arugula, Mujadarra (Lentils & Rice with Caramelized Onions), and Crock-Pot Indian-Spiced Chicken with Lentils & Potatoes. It is incredibly quick to prep, and you may have all the ingredients you need in your house right now. Add some whole grain rolls and you are good to go: I used Pepperidge Farm Multi-Grain Stone Baked Artisan Rolls, a new freezer-to-oven product my grocery is carrying which is really convenient (keep a bag in your freezer) and made with ingredients you will be able to pronounce.
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Soup
Adapted slightly from Lentil Soup
8 c. water
16 oz. bag dried lentils, rinsed + picked through
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, diced
6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Combine first 6 ingredients in the crock of a large slow cooker (mine is 6 quarts). Cook on HIGH for 6 hours.
Remove garlic cloves if you like (or eat them, or leave them in the soup). If you like a smoother soup, use an immersion blender in the crock for about 20 seconds until about a third of the soup is pureed, leaving some chunks. Season with remaining four ingredients, adjusting salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.