Last week’s weather was a little chilly and it finally started to feel like fall, my favorite season. The Southern summer heat has been killer, and I’m so ready to wear some scarves and jackets. Plus, fall means it’s time to bust out the crock pot. I know I professed my love for those little magicians in my slow cooker black bean burritos recipe post, but I am obsessed with slow cookers. I have three and try to use them during the summer as much as possible, but fall really lends itself to the crock pot and delicious soups and stews. I can’t wait to taste my old favorites and some new ones from Pinterest that I’m dying to try. For my first fall soup, I whipped up this lentil and mushroom number, which also happens to be vegan. It’s a great mellow soup with a lot of healthy and delicious vegetables.
After I decided to make soup, I had a big conversation with Mark (well… mostly with myself) where I was trying to figure out if I wanted to buy a Thermos to bring soup in my lunch. My regular storage containers leak in my lunch box, so I need something that was easy and better at transporting liquids. In the end, I decided to use my pint size mason jars. They’re perfect for holding a serving of soup and, since they’re glass, I can take the lid off and microwave it if I choose. I loved being able to portion out the soup all at once, then grab-and-go when I was heading to class.
As an added bonus, mason jars are super cute and add a rustic touch to my lunch. Plus there are no leaks!
2 vidalia onions, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced into disks
2 stalks celery, chopped
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, quartered
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup dry French lentils, rinsed and soaked
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 32 ounce carton vegetable broth
1 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
generous grinding of black pepper
4 cups spinach, thinly sliced (add during the last 30 – 60 minutes of cooking)
Chop your vegetables and slice your carrots, then add to the crock pot. I used my 6 quart programmable crock pot for this recipe.
Quarter your baby bella mushrooms (or whatever kind you prefer) and add them to the crock pot.
Add everything else (except for spinach) and stir together. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours (or until lentils are tender).
During the last hour of cooking (or last half hour if you’re on the high setting), thinly slice your spinach and mix it into the soup. Replace the lid and let the slow cooker finish working its magic!
Serve and enjoy! This recipe yields six servings of about 2 cups each.
Will you be breaking out the slow cookers this fall? Tell us about your favorite recipes in the comments below!
- 2 vidalia onions, chopped
- 2 large carrots, sliced into disks
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 1 cup frozen corn
- ½ cup dry French lentils, rinsed and soaked
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 32 ounce carton vegetable broth
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- generous grinding of black pepper
- 4 cups spinach, thinly sliced (add during the last 30 - 60 minutes of cooking)
- Add all ingredients (except for spinach) to a 6 quart slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
- During the last hour of cooking (or half hour if you're on the high setting), add the thinly sliced spinach.
- Serve and enjoy!