Crockpot Lentil Veggie Stew

On a rainy, cold Friday, this recipe seems just right. It comes from Weelicious, which is a great endorsement for it being kid-friendly! If you must have meat in it, try tossing in some chicken parts, or chunks of chuck roast or round steak to up the meat protein. Put them in at the start and they will be very tender at the end.

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 Leeks, chopped (use only the white and light green part of the leek)
2 Large Carrots, chopped
3 Celery Stalks, chopped
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tbsp Fresh OR 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
2 Tsp Kosher Salt
8 Cups Vegetable Stock (you could also use chicken stock)
1 32 Oz Can Chopped Tomatoes with juice
16 Oz Dried Lentils
2 Cups Kale or Swiss Chard, chopped

Accompaniments: plain yogurt, herbed goat cheese, feta cheese, crème fraiche or Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook the onions for 4 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
3. Place the onion mixture with the remaining ingredients in a crock pot and stir.
4. Cover and cook the lentils on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 8 hours or until lentils are tender.
5. Top with desired accompaniment and serve.

* You can also place all of the ingredients in a large pot over low to medium heat and cover for 90 minutes or until tender.

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