What if you came home for lunch one day and in between reheating leftovers and hurrying back to work you realized that except that last slice of quiche you just inhaled, there is nothing to eat for supper?
No problem, you might say, just call in some takeout or go out for a meal. Now, considering that I harbor two rowdy toddlers and that the nearest decent restaurant is in the 120 kilometer range, I am sure you can understand why I quickly let go of that possibility.
Then I remembered my old friend, the slow-cooker. Actually, thanks to my husband, I now have a fleet of old friends. My sweetheart keeps buying them for me in all shapes and sizes. Actually, buying me kitchen equipment is a tradition he established early in our relationship. In the very first birthday we celebrated together four months after our first date, he got me a food processor (that works to this very day). The only evolution in this charming custom was me ceasing to get offended by these overwhelmingly romantic offerings. Flowers don’t last ladies! ask for kitchen utensils!
Back to the slow cooker. In a matter of minutes I assembled a soup that has now become one of our favorites. Tomatoes, red lentils, citrusy swiss chard. Yum. I enlisted the help of my food processor in chopping the vegetables and of my microwave to saute them while I put my feet up. You gotta love technology.
Slow Cooker Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup
1 very large carrot (or two smaller ones), peeled and cut into 3-4 sections
1 large celery stick with all the leafs attached, cut in 3-4 sections
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in 4
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 can (800ml or 28 oz) diced tomatoes
550 ml chicken broth
1 cup chopped green Swiss chard leafs
1/3 cup red lentils
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Place onion, carrot and celery in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a glass bowl, add olive oil, mix well and microwave for about 4 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
2. Transfer vegetables to the slow cooker and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
3. Cook on Low for 5-6 hours