Meatless Monday: Crock pot lentil soup with sweet potatoes and spinach

This week’s Meatless Monday recipe is a throwback from my last blog, New England Mommy. When Cole was little I used the crock pot all the time. Okay, that hasn’t changed, I but I swear the reason Cole is such a good eater is because he was introduced at an early age to all sorts of vegetables and legumes that I packed into our soups. If you don’t have time to try it out this week, make sure to Pin it for later!

New England Mommy – January 19th, 2012

I’m always looking for quick, easy, and healthy meals for my family.  Now that Cole is eating more solid foods I’ve been making meals that he can enjoy with us. Soups are easy because I can make them ahead of time in the crock pot, and they can be made with a variety of vegetable and bean combinations. I came across a recipe for lentil soup on one of my favorite food blogs, Two Peas & Their Pod. I changed it up just a bit and it came out delicious.  It’s never crossed my mind to put sweet potato into a soup – what a brilliant idea! I hope you enjoy this hearty soup on a brisk winter day.

 

Ingredients
1 cup of lentils
1 large sweet potato
2 medium size carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carton of vegetable broth (32 oz)
2 big handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
1 bay leaf
Oregano
Salt
Pepper

Recipe
Place all the ingredients, except the spinach, into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Five minutes before serving remove the bay leaf and add the fresh spinach. Add more seasoning to taste. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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Lemon, spinach & chickpea orzo soup

Last Monday’s recipe was all about the garlic and this week it’s all about the lemon! I mish-mashed a couple of recipes that I’ve seen over the past couple of weeks to come up with this simple, tasty soup.

lemon orzo soup

What you need
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
zest from the 1 lemon
8 cups of vegetable broth (I make mine with bouillon but you can buy the carton too)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 can chickpeas
2 cups fresh chopped spinach
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Put olive oil in a soup pot on medium then drop in the minced garlic. Once the garlic has cooked for a minute add the lemon zest, pepper flakes and dried thyme and stir for another minute. Add spinach and orzo and cook for about 3 minutes. Add vegetable broth and lemon juice. Let simmer for about 12 minutes, add chickpeas, and simmer for another 3 minutes. I served mine up next to a tomato salad to round out the colors…because I’m weird like that.

Enjoy!

Tomato Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans

It’s Meatless Monday! I think everyone can benefit from going meatless once a week. I serve a lot of meatless meals to my family so each Monday I’ll be sharing my favorite recipes with you. This is a variation of a yummy, easy, toddler-friendly recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Veganomicon. Amazing clean-eating cookbook by the way!

Veganomicon tomato rice soup

What I love the most about this recipe is the roasted garlic. It adds so much flavor to the soup! So if you are a garlic lover like me you have to try it out this dairy-free, gluten-free recipe.

2 bulbs garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus a little extra for the garlic)
1 cup long-grain brown rice (make sure to use long grain and not short grain)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons salt
several pinches of freshly ground pepper
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, drained and rinsed

Preheat the oven to 425.

For the roasted garlic: Cut about 1/2 inch off the top of each garlic bulb, drip a bit of olive oil on each of the garlic bulbs, wrap in aluminum foil and roast in oven for 45 minutes until soft.

While garlic is roasting, preheat a soup pot over medium heat with tablespoon of oil. Add the rice, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, then fill up the can with water twice and add the water.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove the garlic from the oven. When it is cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and into a small bowl. Use a fork to mash garlic to a smooth consistency, then add to soup once the rice is nearly tender.

When rice is completely cooked, add the beans and heat through. Then it’s ready to serve – just remove the bay leaves beforehand. It makes a lot and freezes well so you can enjoy leftovers.