FBAH: Slow-Cooker Lentil Soup aka my kids’ FAVORITE meal

lentilsoup3

What a way to launch the new website, eh? I’ve had a rough few weeks realizing that I must be very, very old in technical years (is that like dog years?) since I have no clue what I’m doing. Or maybe I’m technically young? All I know is life has been consumed by the fabrication of this not so fancy website. I don’t know how other people manage, but assume they hire someone much savvier in web skills.

KaleBut today is a big day. I am participating in Food Bloggers Against Hunger, a collaborative effort of more than 200 food bloggers attempting to bring awareness to the realities, and perhaps failings, of the American Food System. My head is full of things I want to say, but nothing is quite right, and so I leave you with this.

I believe not just with my intellect, but also my heart, that the Standard American Diet lies at the core of many of our greatest societal problems. The What AND the How. Do we eat as families or standing by the fridge or in our car? Do we have to play the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game to get our food to its whole and original state? Are the toxins in our food making us sick – not just the ones we put on, but the ones inherent – sugars, processed fats, animal proteins in excess? Do our children even know where food, REAL FOOD, comes from? Do bugs and dirt make them squeamish, do bees terrify them?

lentilsoup1When my kids publicly eat salad, fresh vegetables, or green smoothies with glee, I am frequently told I’m a lucky mom.

I am not a lucky mom. I work my TAIL off teaching my children.

I have spent countless hours growing, buying, and preparing wholesome food. Our most effective classrooms are our garden and our kitchen table. Smoothies are best when green. Farmers’ markets and produce co-ops are a way of life. I have taught them over and over again the most important truth about food, that our bodies are special and a MAGNIFICENT gift, and treating them poorly is wrong.

If everyone believed they were special enough to take care of, we would demand good food. Especially for our children. Everyone would, and it would make a difference.

my kids

My kids are special. So, so very special. My almost 6YO son’s favorite food is a raw red pepper. My daughter who turns three next week sneaks seaweed to the table. My baby knows the blender means food and eats everything I put on his tray, including the first food he happily ate … Lentil Soup. It is easy, totally affordable, homey, makes a TON, and I want to share it with you.

More information about Food Bloggers Against Hunger is below.

 

humble, brown lentil

Easy Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Yield 4 quarts (or more)

Ingredients:
1-2 T. olive oil (option)
2 Onions, chopped
5 Carrots, sliced
4 stalks Celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
1-2 bay leaves
1-2 t. dried thyme leaves, or 3-4 sprigs fresh
2 c. brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 quarts broth equivalent:
2-3 T. vegan stock powder
1-2 T. vegetable base (I like Better than Bouillon’s)
1-2 cubes Rapunzel vegetable bouillon
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, chopped (substitute: spinach)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Sauté onions, carrots and celery until soft, but not browned, over medium heat using oil or water-sauté method. Add garlic and cook quickly for 30 seconds. Dump the vegetables in your slow cooker, adding your bay leaves, dried thyme, lentils, and broth. Cook on high for 3 hours. Add tomatoes and salt, add more water if needed, and continue cooking for another hour or two until lentils are soft. Twenty minutes before serving, add kale and cook until just barely tender. Adjust salt and pepper, and serve.

Serve with homemade bread and salad.

*Cooking variations:

  • Without sautéing, add everything but the kale and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Add the kale just at the end.
  • After sautéing the vegetables, add everything but the kale to the slow cooker and cook for 8-10 hours.
  • Stovetop: follow directions, but allow soup to simmer on the stove for 30-40 minutes instead of in your slow cooker, adding the kale at the last five minutes.

Use this link to send a letter to congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation.

And watch “A Place at the Table” to learn more. Trailer here.

 

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “FBAH: Slow-Cooker Lentil Soup aka my kids’ FAVORITE meal

  1. Yay, yay, yay!! Oh my gosh, I so agree with you! Why have we put our health and the health and well-being of our children behind convenience?? What happened to sitting down together for all three meals? Faster isn’t better. Cheaper isn’t better. But simpler, i.e., whole foods grown chemical- and pesticide-free ARE better!

    • I love three yays! I sometimes think about how we expect to raise strong, confident and resilient children, but never teach them that they matter enough to sacrifice for. It’s hard work, this mom thing, but I’m not doing it for me. I’m doing it for them and while I know I’m not a perfect mom, I can at least try to not fail them in the fundamentals, right?

  2. I couldn’t agree with your post more! I feel the same way about my family. Being a Mom is the greatest privilege and one I take very seriously. My son does very well at sports and he is often asked where he gets his energy from – but when you eat a clean diet it pays off in so many ways. It takes work and dedication but the resulting health is well worth it… and doing it as a family brings us closer together.
    Teaching these life skills is important, and doing the right thing always makes you feel good.
    Again I loved your post, and just needed to let you know that it struck a cord with me.
    All the best,
    Jaquelyn

    • THANK YOU! Sometimes, when my kids beg for more salad but won’t eat the noodles, I hang my head and fear they will never be normal. And then I raise it up again, grateful that, well, they’ll never be normal. My kids constantly get comments about how lovely their skin is, and where did they get their energy, and I know it’s from giving them powerful tools and foods to fuel them. If they know they are important enough to put energy into feeding them well, then they are important enough to matter. Thank you for giving me the perspective a few years out!

  3. Love this “I am not a lucky mom. I work my tail off teaching my children” So true. I work my tail off too. And sometimes I think I’m neurotic about food.. or think that others think I am neurotic about food. But in the end it is so worth the effort when you have kids that appreciate good healthy food and turn their noses up at processed junk they find everywhere else.
    Good job. Great soup too!

    • Thank you!! Being a mom is the hardest thing I’ve done (and I’ve done some hard things), but those awesome moments totally make it worth it.

  4. Teaching my children about food is one of the hardest, yet most important, things I do as a mom. Changing their eating behaviors is happening, though slower for some than the others. But I agree with you that it is so important, for many reasons, health being one of them. The soup recipe looks great too!

    • I’m often asked, “Where do I start?” And I always say, at the beginning. This isn’t a race, so movement in the right direction is awesomeness.

  5. I totally was going to post a lentil soup too! But I saw your post this morning while drafting mine and our recipes were SO similar that I decided to go a different route lest you though I was copying you! Haha! Love this Amanda! xx

    • I just read your deodorant/banana muffin post. We must still be living our parallel lives. I think this is a very “beany” event – they lend themselves well to kids and budgets. I made more nut ice cream tonight, a different delicious flavor and thought you’d love it. It’s crazy easy and crazy good.

      • Haha! Those old posts need to die! Too funny! Yeah, pretty much all the ones I’ve seen used some sort of legumes.

        Oh man, I need ice cream. Dude, you should see the ruckus people are making over at my place on today’s post, guess it’s flattering that I’m getting out there enough to have the haters come out! 🙂 How many people said I should cook my own dang beans…. Sheesh, as IF I don’t know how peeps. I was trying to illustrate a lesson! Haha!

      • Haha! Those old posts need to die! Too funny! Yeah, pretty much all the ones I’ve seen used some sort of legumes.

        Oh man, I need ice cream. Dude, you should see the ruckus people are making over at my place on today’s post, guess it’s flattering that I’m getting out there enough to have the haters come out! 🙂 How many people said I should cook my own dang beans…. Sheesh, as IF I don’t know how peeps. I was trying to illustrate a lesson! Haha!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s