Today seems so anti-soup, so I apologize for today's recipe if you live near me. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and everything is right with the world! Spring has certainly arrived here in the Pacific Northwest!
But don't worry! It's supposed to rain Thursday. So maybe you can plan to make this soup then.
This recipe is a GREAT use of your spice rack! You'll see why in a minute.
First you buy a bag of dry lentils. Sort through them to make sure there are no rocks. Yes, beans sometimes come with bonuses. One time I found THREE rocks in one bag, so seriously, it's worth it to sort.
Then soak the lentils overnight in a pot of water. The next morning drain and rinse them. Then toss them into your crock pot with 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock.
Then chop up 2 medium carrots, 1 small onion, and 4 stalks of celery. Toss them into the pot.
Then add 3 tablespoons of uncooked rice. If the rice part of this recipe really intrigues you I'd recommend adding more than what's suggested. I really didn't notice the rice at all in the end product with only 3 tablespoons. I think next time I'll use 1/4 cup.
Now here's the exciting part! We're gonna make herbes de Provence! I've heard you actually can buy herbes de Provence already mixed up, but you can't get it at Walmart, I checked. But that's ok! I found a great recipe by Emeril to make your very own. If you don't have ALL the spices in his recipe don't worry about it! I found several different recipe mixes online and they all included different things. Emeril's recipe requires equal parts savory, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, and fennel seed. I'm thinkin' the most important parts are rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil... and the other spices are not as important. So use what you've got and don't stress over it!
Whatever mix you've got, add 1 teaspoon to the pot. In the future, I'd use more. Like 1 tablespoon. Oh, and don't forget the salt & pepper! Crock pot cooking really makes spices taste stronger, so I'd recommend adding 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. And then after it's done cooking add more depending on your taste buds.
Set on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. And Voila! Super easy super simple soup! This one requires a little bit of planning ahead (for the soaking) but other than that it's pretty much a no-brainer! Great for those nights when you feel like you're missing a few brain cells.
We served ours with a side of bacon and a bisket. It was yumtastic!
French Lentil Rice Soup
Adapted from Crock Pot Recipe Collection
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 package dried lentils, picked over, soaked and rinsed
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 stalks of celery, sliced
3 tablespoons uncooked rice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Stir together broth, lentils, vegetables, rice, garlic, herbes de Provence, salt & pepper in 4-quart crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.