When the weather turns chilly, what’s more comforting than a bowl of hot and hearty soup?
It’s the perfect thing for a cold winter day – a delicious dish that fills you with warmth and good cheer.
On a scale of one to ten, when it comes to taste, this is an 11! And the best news is that it’s super easy to make. There’s a little bit of prep work, but after that it can be made in the crock pot and left to simmer all day long!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Large onion, finely chopped
- 2 Large carrots, finely chopped
- 3 Stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 2 Potatoes. cut into small cubes
- ½ Red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 Cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
- 2 Cups brown lentils, rinsed and picked through (or a package of Trader Joe’s pre-cooked packaged lentils works great!!)
- 1 Tomato, chopped
- ¼ Cup plain tomato sauce
- 2 Quarts chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ Teaspoon cumin
- Salt & Pepper
- ½ Cup uncooked small pasta shells
- ½ Cup diced smoked ham (that will be added when the vegetables are sweating in the oil)
- 1 Sausage diced or sliced – spicy chicken sausage is excellent!
- ½ Cup cannellini beans
- ½ Cup croutons – add upon serving
- A dash or two of Tabasco goes a long way too!
Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add onion, carrot, celery and pepper. Allow to sweat or cook on the stovetop until the onions are translucent or you can see thru them (about 5 minutes).
Add the lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings and allow to cook on a med-low simmer for about one hour. Add spinach and cook for 10 more minutes.
Drizzle with a little more olive oil on top… mmmmm!!!!