Have you heard? Eating lentils brings wealth and prosperity in the New Year! So, I’ve created an easy way to enjoy these protein-packed legumes that’s both hearty, and delicious. Honestly, this Easy Crockpot Lentil Soup can be enjoyed all year long. Brown the coin-shaped sausages for additional flavor and toss them into a slow cooker with the remaining ingredients. After four to five hours, dinner is done! Maybe, just maybe, lentils will become YOUR new favorite legume. This healthy, slow-cooker soup makes for the perfect weeknight meal.
ITALIAN TRADITION OF EATING LENTILS ON NEW YEARS EVE
Eating lentils right after midnight is an Italian tradition that dates back to Roman times. The flat, coin-shape of the lentil is believed to resemble Roman coins and are typically served with some type of pork. Cotechino con lenticchie (sausages and green lentils) is most popular. The sausages are cut into circles to also resemble coins for financial wealth and prosperity for the upcoming year.
WHAT ARE LENTILS
Lentils are a a tiny, round-shaped legume that has long been a staple in Indian cuisine (daal). In addition, lentils play a huge roll in vegan cooking as a plant-based source of protein. They are grown in pods and come in a variety of sizes and colors (green, brown, black, red, yellow and green). Also, lentils are gluten-free!
Health benefits of eating lentils
Lentils are packed full of goodness. These powerful legumes contain 18 grams of protein in one cup. They are full of fiber, a great source of protein and are generous in polyphenols. Polyphenols fight off harmful agents in the body.
OTHER GOOD LUCK FOODS FOR THE NEW YEAR!
Ok, so let’s be honest. You may get a different answer depending on where you grew up. Having grown up in the north, pork and sauerkraut has always been our “good luck” food to ring in the New Year. Seriously, I can remember attending New Year’s Eve parties where big roasting pans full of roast pork and sauerkraut where brought out just past midnight.
BLACK-EYED PEAS – said to bring good luck in the form of money
ROUND SWEETS – represent a circle of luck
HEARTY GREENS – eat cabbage or kale for prosperity
CORNBREAD – it’s golden hue represents gold and riches in the new year
GRAPES – In Spain and Mexico, people eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight for luck
NOODLES – super long noodles bring long life in the New Year
POMEGRANATE SEEDS – eat for fertility and life
FISH – symbolizes abundance
CHAMPAGNE – wealth and nobility
PRETZELS – a German tradition for luck and prosperity
TIPS ON MAKING EASY CROCKPOT LENTIL SOUP
Follow these simple tips to prepare this healthy bean soup:
- although browning the smoked sausage is not mandatory, the process does provide for another level of flavor
- easily substitute with your favorite sausage, or leave out the sausage for a vegetarian lentil soup
- rinse the lentils to remove any dirt and/or debris
- adjust cook time if substituting other types of lentils (red will cook more quickly and green may need a bit more time)
- use a food processor to mince the vegetables (makes for a better consistency)
- substitute crushed tomatoes with whole (just crush them once you add to the slow cooker)
- fresh rosemary can be great substitute for fresh thyme (or use both)
- add spinach (at the end)
- reduce cooking time by preparing on the stovetop in an enameled cast iron pot
- serve with buttery bread for dipping and/or a side salad
STORAGE AND FREEZING
This dairy-free soup is great for meal prep and will last in the fridge up to five days. Alternatively, this easy crockpot lentil soup is a great freezer-meal soup and will last up to three months in the freezer.Print
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