For the past several months, I’ve stared casually into a pantry filled with canned soups. The thought of warm liquid filling my belly in the heat of summer was never appealing, nor was the idea of heating up broth from an aluminum can. It isn’t until the weather becomes chilled do I crave a hearty bowl of soup for dinner.
This past weekend, I realized that it is officially soup season when I was forced to turn on my heat with near freezing temperatures in the morning. Soup and I have a love hate relationship. I love it for many reasons such as it’s convenience, it’s ability to produce delicious leftovers and the fact that I can usually add a plethora of ingredients and still produce something scrumptious. I don’t love the fact that it normally takes all day to cook and should be planned ahead of time in order to gain the most rich and rustic flavors. When I do think to plan ahead, preparing soup in the slow cooker is a guaranteed delectable meal.
This filling recipe combines seasonal root vegetables and nutritious lentils for a comforting stew that warms the core on those cold fall nights. I added chicken for a bit more protein boost but you can leave it out if you are looking for a meat free option.
Slow Cooker Hearty Chicken and Lentil Stew (Serves 6)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped (2 cups)
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
- 1 cup Shiloh Farms French lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, in juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- In a 4-quart slow cooker, mix onion, zucchini, squash, lentils, broth salt and pepper. Add chicken.
- Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours.
- Remove chicken from slow cooker. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken and return to slow cooker.
- Stir in tomatoes. Cover and cook on low setting for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil.
Enjoy more of Lauren’s recipes by checking our her blog; http://www.saywhatyouneedtosayblog.com/