Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What a Crock!

I did it - I broke down and bought a crock pot. My third one in my life, the other two disappearing after divorce and moves here and there. I can honestly say my last one - a massive Rival with removable crock - just vanished. I have no idea where it is now. But at the time I figured I'd probably not use it again, so I forgot about it.

But something strange is happening - people are beginning to use crock pots again. Not just a little, either. Pick up any food magazine and you'll see recipes for crockpot dinners, breakfasts, etc. I caved in yesterday when I picked up a veggie cookbook and there was an entire section on crock pot meals. I can't ignore that!

I'm glad I didn't. For some things, crock pots are great. They allow food to cook slowly, bringing out even more flavor in the ingredients. Yesterday's experiment was a new twist on an old favorite - Lentil Soup. I tried some new ingredients to give it a bit more oomph in the flavor department. This is now on our list of favorites.

Crockpot Lentil Stew

1 Tbl. olive oil
1 cup brown lentils
3 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup cubed butternut squash
1 c. red wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1 to 2 cups water
2 tsp. Herbes de Provence

Saute onions and carrots in olive oil until onions begin to soften. Add wine and saute until wine is reduced to at least half a cup. Pour into crock pot. Add broth, water, squash, herbs, and lentils and stir. Cook on high for 4-5 hours (or switch to low and cook longer if yours tends to burn everything). Season with salt and pepper.

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