Slow Cooker Lentil and Sausage Soup
with cucumber and spinach salad
My fall & winter motto really is: let my slow cooker feed me. This time we let dried lentils get infused with deep flavor. Pick your favorite sausage (meat or vegan) and enjoy this easy rustic soup. And best of all, it gets turned into a filling for stuffed tomatoes later in the week.
Slow Cooker Lentil and Sausage Soup:
- Onion - 1 , diced
- Celery - 1 stalk , diced
- Carrots - 2/3 lb , diced
- Sausage - 3 links , cooked and chopped
- French or green lentils - 3/4 cup , uncooked
- Beef stock - 1 quart
- Tomato paste - 3 Tbsp
- Water - 1 cup
- Cumin - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1/4 tsp
- Bay leaves - 2
- Hot sauce (opt) - for serving
- Crusty bread - 1/2 loaf
Cucumber and Spinach Salad with a French Vinaigrette:
- Shallots - 1/2 bulb , diced
- Cucumbers - 1/2 lb , sliced
- Dijon mustard - 1 tsp
- Red wine vinegar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Olive oil - 3 Tbsp
- Baby spinach - 4 oz
- Onions / Celery / Carrots / Sausage - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Start slow cooking (at least 5 hours before) - Place onions, celery, carrots, sausage, lentils, beef stock, tomato paste, water, cumin, salt, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Stir. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 5. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Shallots / Cucumbers - Prep as directed.
- Whisk together shallots, Dijon, vinegar, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and / or a sweetener. Set aside.
- Fish out bay leaves from soup and season to taste with salt, pepper, cumin, or hot sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve - the flavors will continue to develop. If not serving within the day, cool and store.
- Toss cucumbers and spinach with vinaigrette.
- Toast bread. Enjoy with soup and salad. And if you're making Thursday's stuffed tomatoes, remember to set aside some soup.