Slow Cooker Lamb and Lentil Soup
- 2 lamb shoulder chops with bone or about 1 pound other stew meat
- 1 strip bacon, chopped roughly
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic, chopped roughly
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon harissa (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil or a bunch of fresh basil leaves if you have them
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes with liquid
- 3 cups chicken or turkey stock
- 2 teaspoons sherry or sake or wine
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
- Pasta (corkscrews or shells are good)
- grated cheese for serving
- Salt and pepper
- Place first twelve ingredients in the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over. Fill empty can with water and add that water to slow cooker as well.
- Add stock, sherry or sake or wine, and lentils, stir, leaving meat on the bottom of the pan. Cook on high one to two hours, depending how hot your slow cooker is. Turn to low and cook at least 8 hours.
- Check lentils and carrots at this point. If they seem too crisp to you, keep cooking. When ready to serve, remove meat from bones and discard bones. If you like, whir this for thirty seconds with an immersion blender to thicken the broth, or blend a few ladlesfull in a food processor. Leave the rest chunky.
- Stir in the pesto.
- Boil water on the stovetop and prepare pasta according to package instructions, a large handful per person is plenty.
- Place pasta in bowls and ladle soup over, garnishing generously with grated cheese, salt, and freshly ground pepper.
Photo credit: Maggie Hoffman / flickr.com / CC BY