Slow Cooker Split Pea & Lentil Soup

While we’re currently in the midst of a deep freeze, there’s nothing quite like nourishing, homemade soup. I’m a big fan of soup for a variety of reasons, many of them even practical. Soup is so efficient. You can feed lots of people in an extremely economical and nutritious way (not to mention a delicious and heart-warming way). Yay! I truly think one of the best aromas is coming home to a house that smells of homemade soup. It is so welcoming.

Over the holidays, I was happy to hear my boys discuss food and cost effectiveness.Example: “I can get a whole cabbage for $2 vs asparagus for $12!” Now that they’re doing their own grocery shopping and food preparation, they can’t just toss in a wheel of Brie on a whim. When they went shopping with me, they would reach for all of their favourites without ever considering cost. It’s quite an interesting shift now that they have to pull our their own wallet 😉

With economics in mind, this week’s recipe is based on split peas and lentils. It probably cost me less than $2 for both, and that’s organic. Coupled with a few sweet potatoes, a carrot, an onion, a few stalks of celery, our own rosemary and other spices, plus 8 cups of vegetable broth (we carry a truly wonderful product by Harvest Sun) – easy!

I chose to sauté the onion and garlic in avocado oil prior to adding them to the slow cooker. I prefer the taste; however, you could always dump everything into the slow cooker and omit this step, especially if pressed for time.

From a nutrition perspective, split peas and lentils are full of fibre, protein, iron, magnesium and zinc. This recipe will likely make 8 generous servings for approximately $1 per serving….hard to beat.

Slow Cooker Split Pea and Lentil Soup

8 cups vegetable stock (Harvest Sun is organic, and much less expensive than stock in tetra packs)
1 tablespoon heat-tolerant oil (I used avocado oil) *use if sautéing onion/garlic first, otherwise omit*
1 onion = 1 1/3 cups diced
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 carrot = 1 cup diced
2 small sweet potatoes = 2 cups diced
2 stalks celery = 1 cup diced
1 cup dried lentils
1 cup dried split peas
Fistful of spinach

Sauté onion and garlic in avocado oil until softened and translucent. You can always skip this step if you wish to save time. Add everything to slow cooker (with exception of spinach), set on “low” for 8 hours. Prior to serving, add spinach so that it wilts. You can serve right away, or, if you wish, use an immersion blender – that’s our preference. Hope you enjoy!