I know, spring is finally springing and here I am giving you a recipe for a hearty warming soup. In my defence, it’s still pretty nippy by the time the evening draws in, so I don’t think we’re up to braai and BBQ weather yet!
This lovely soup is a real slow cooker classic. I tend the leave the house at 06:00 most days and not get back until 17:00, so something that can slowly cook for 10-12 hours is ideal. Due to all the lentils this is a really hearty, filling soup, and if you do take the option of the feta on top too it’s a satisfying dinner even for Mr Halo.
I absolutely love loads of Greek food, most particularly the salads of wild greens and the cheeses you find in Crete. We’re travelling back there this summer and I cannot wait to eat my fill of the fresh seafood, kleftiko and more. Until then though, this will have to suffice!
To keep costs low, and for ease, I tend to make up 4-6 batches at a time, freeze them in freezer bags, and use throughout the next couple of months. The recipe below makes enough for four people to have generous servings, and I’ve noted where you might want to stop and freeze if you’re making multiple batches.
Slow Cooker Gluten Free Greek Lentil Soup Recipe
• 1 and ½ cup brown lentils, washed and rinsed.
• 6 cups gluten free vegetable stock
• 1 can diced tomatoes in juice
• 2 onions, diced really small
• Garlic to taste (I like about 6 cloves, but I love garlic), chopped small
(Hint: I use the Kenwood Chef food processor attachment, peel the onion and garlic and just whizz it up in there. You’re not looking for chunks of them, they’re to melt into the soup and provide flavour.)
• 1 cup celery, chopped fairly small
• 3 tsps dried oregano
• 2 tsps dried thyme
• 1 tsp dried parsley
• Salt and pepper to taste (you may not need as much salt as you think, due to the stock – save any extra salt for the end when you do the final tasting)
• A few large handfuls of fresh or frozen spinach.
• Feta or cheddar if wanted.
1. Prep all the vegetables as described above. Onions and garlic diced small, celery chopped fairly small, lentils washed.
2. Mix all the ingredients, apart from the spinach and cheese, together. At this point, if you’re making a few batches, you can freeze the soup.
3. Place in a slow cooker for about 8 hours on low if using fresh, 10 hours on low if using from frozen. Depending upon your slow cooker and how airtight it is (ours very much isn’t!), you may need to top the liquid up with a touch of water. It’s always better to have too much liquid in than too little, so make a judgement based on your experience of your equipment before you set off and leave it!
4. Half an hour to forty minutes before serving, cut or chop the fresh spinach and stir it into the soup. If using frozen spinach, just add and stir after a few minutes to spread it about.
5. Serve with cubed feta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and some dried oregano on top! You can also use cheddar, or simply serve plain.
A delicious variation, if you like garlic (and I really do), is to slice some cloves to medium thickness and stir them through an hour before serving. They soften, but are still a strong flavour punch! You can also add some small cubed carrots, and a handful of peas if you want to increase the vegetable content.
Still being in the recovery stages of a nasty flu, this soup is a real dinner saviour to have in the freezer. Wishing you good health and happy soup eating, Halo from the Halo Baking Emporium and Chocolaterie in Moseley Birmingham, UK.