Friday, February 17, 2012

Sup Before Dawn

I'm not the greatest when it comes to using the Crock-Pot.  I think it's a fantastic concept, the whole "set it and forget it" thing (maybe that belongs to some other gadget but close enough), but I don't do it much.  I tend to get turned off by slow cooker recipes because it seems like there's always canned soup or ketchup involved.  No thank you.  I found a good one though in Food TV Magazine (of course) that you might like.  So I busted out my retro, circa 1978 hand me down Crock-Pot at 6am yesterday.  I do find it a challenge to start slicing and dicing the minute I wake up, but I will say this was much easier than browning a side of pork at 6am (like I did the last time I used this thing).

It is totally worth taking that time (approximately 25 min) in the morning and not having to deal with dinner later on a busy week night.  The one change I would make to this recipe when making it again, is I would use either a Thai style vegetable broth (Wegmans) or even chicken broth (I'm so not a vegetarian) instead of the 6 cups of water.  Even if you split it 3 cups water to 3 cups both it might just add that tiny extra bit of pizazz that I think it needs.  Again, I make a terrible vegetarian.

Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

1 large sweet potato
3 med carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (white and light green parts only, and be sure to rinse them well after cutting.  Those buggers can be REALLY dirty!)
3/4 cup dried yellow or red lentils
1 4-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated (your hands will smell great all day!)
1 + 1/4 tsp curry powder
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

Combine first 7 ingredients (1 tsp of the curry powder) in a 4-6 qt slow cooker.  Add 6 cups water, broth, or combo and stir.  Cover and cook on low, undisturbed for 8 hours.

Now bust out the immersion blender if you have one (love that thing!).  If not, stir soup vigorously with a whisk to make a rough puree.
Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and 1/4 tsp curry powder, cook about 1 min until slightly toasted.  Stir curry mixture into the soup along with the lemon juice and cilantro and a little salt to taste.
This is a low-cal soup (257 cal if using water, and according to the recipe this is 4 servings!).  Let me know how you like it!

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