This lentil soup recipe delivers the slow cooker goodness of fork-tender beef and tasty lentils simmered together in a fragrant broth of red wine, beef stock, and healing aromatics.
Lentils are a flat, lens shaped legume that has been nourishing us since ancient times. In fact, they originated in the Near East and were among our first eight domesticated crops.
Look at this impressive list of their nutritional benefits:
Dried lentils are quick and easy to prepare for cooking because they only need sorted and rinsed.
Even though legumes go through several sifters and quality checks before being packaged, you should still sort through them as small pebbles and other bits of debris are sometimes present.
One easy way to examine a few lentils at a time is to first pour them into your palm before placing them in your measuring cup. To rinse, pour the lentils into a colander or fine mesh strainer and run fresh water over them. That’s it - they’re ready to cook!
2 to 2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 2-1/2 pounds beef chuck roast (cut into 1 inch cubes)
[You can also use pre-cubed stew meat if you like. However, the pieces are less uniform in size and tenderness.]
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 medium sized yellow onions, peeled and chopped
2 ribs of celery, well-rinsed and sliced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup dry red wine
1-1/2 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 can tomato sauce, 8 ounces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 cups beef stock, homemade preferred
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
1. Heat - Add oil to a skillet and heat on medium high until the oil is shimmering.
2. Sear - Brown beef in batches. Add just enough of beef cubes to almost cover bottom of skillet, leave about an inch between each piece. Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of salt over each batch.
3. Sear, developing a nicely browned crust on each side before turning; brown all sides. Place the seared pieces of beef in the bottom of the slow cooker. Keep the process going until all of the beef is browned.
4. Sauté - Sauté the onions, celery, and garlic. You may want to add a little more oil to the skillet before you begin.
5. Deglaze pan - Remove the sautéed vegetables from the skillet and add red wine to the pan to deglaze it. Using a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the flavor-filled brown bits. You want to capture all of the goodness your searing has created.
6. Allow the wine to simmer in the skillet for 3 to 4 minutes then pour the mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.
7. Add - Add the dried lentils, carrots, tomato sauce, soy sauce, tomato sauce, beef stock, bay leaf, and thyme to the slow cooker.
8. Stir the contents with a large spoon to combine.
9. Set on low - Set the slow cooker on low and cook until beef and lentils are tender: 8-10 hours.
10. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.
"5 Reasons Why You Should Eat LENTILS!" Project Open Hand | Our Mission is to Nourish and Engage Our Community by Providing Nutritious 'meals with Love' to the Sick and the Elderly. Accessed January 22, 2018. https://www.openhand.org/blog/5-reasons-why-you-should-eat-lentils.
"Lentils: A Legume For The Ages." NPR.org. Last modified January 7, 2009. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99054419.
"Pulses: The Perfect Food, Healthy to Eat, Healthy to Grow; Peas-Lentils-Chickpeas — Publications." NDSU Agriculture and Extension. Last modified September 1208. https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/pulses-the-perfect-food-healthy-to-eat-healthy-to-grow-peas-lentils-chickpeas.
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