No matter what anyone may say about my cooking, I can follow a recipe like nobody’s business. I wander the aisles at the grocery store with the ingredients list in my hand, looking for specifically mentioned brands, exotic foods, what have you. And then I make the recipe to the letter. The next time I make it (if it was good enough to pass my husband’s muster, which is only about 50% of the time, now that I’m cooking WW meals), I modify it to what I think would taste best.
So this week, I tried the WW Slow-cooker Lentil Soup. I have fond memories of lentil soup—I made it the summer I was single and living in my first apartment, a three-room, wood-floored space full of light in a converted Victorian. That summer I pretended I was a vegetarian, and even went so far as to purchase a book called Vegan Recipes for One. The book required me to spend more money on spices than I had ever thought possible, but the lentil soup was wonderful. Warm and cozy, with smokiness from cumin and earthiness from the lentils themselves—I loved it.
Needless to say, I had high expectations for this WW soup. Even higher than normal because it was a crockpot recipe, and I am not good at the crockpot. The only successful meal I’ve ever made in a crockpot is vegetarian chili. (And I now make it every couple of weeks, so I’ll post the recipe for you next Friday.)
Here’s the recipe, from the WW Website:
2 medium uncooked carrots, peeled, cut into large chunks
2 medium ribs uncooked celery, cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry lentils, picked over
3 bay leaves
½ tsp dried thyme, crushed
½ tsp table salt, or to taste
¼ tsp black pepper, or to taste
8 cups chicken broth
4 oz uncooked Canadian bacon, diced (4-5 slices)
Place ingredients in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker in the following order: carrots, celery, onion, garlic, spices, and broth. Cover slow cooker; cook on low setting for 6 hours. Uncover, stir in bacon and heat for 30 minutes more; remove bay leaves.
Yields about 1 ½ cups per serving
I added an extra carrot (mine were on the small side), two extra ribs of celery (because I love celery, but never find occasion to eat it), and a healthy sprinkle of cumin on top. Then I tasted it and about halfway through I decided to add curry powder, chili powder, more cumin, and some garlic salt.
And, it was actually pretty good. I served it alongside some crusty multigrain bread and it was a complete, well-rounded meal for 9 Points+ (the soup is 5 Points+ per cup and a half, so it just depends on what bread you have and how much you eat). I said I would make it again, but my husband and kids unfortunately did not agree with me. Looks like I’ll be the one eating all the leftovers.