Summer Veggies and Lentil Soup (gluten free, vegan)

Summer Veggies and Lentil Soup

Our garden is growing! Despite a couple weeks of highs at or near a hundred Fahrenheit, there are some edibles a few feet from our front door. Some things are doing better than others, so preparing a meal with our small harvest was like a bizarre episode of Chopped. My "basket" contained small beets and a zucchini. In my "pantry" there were organic Yukon Gold potatoes, lentils, and seasonings. The oven and range were strictly off limits due to the heat wave... Thank goodness for crock pots!

Beets are interesting because they are like two vegetables in one. The tops are delicious as greens and are rich in Vitamin A. The roots have a sweet and slightly peppery flavour and when cooked have a texture like a potato. Except for trimming the root ends, I chopped up the beets- tops and all- and added them to the pot.

I diced the zucchini and potatoes and tossed them in, too, along with the lentils, seasonings and water. I left the pot on "high" for about four hours. Eight hours on low would have worked, too, had we gone out for the day. A few minutes before serving, I added a touch of salt to brighten the broth. (Always wait until a soup is cooked to add salt, a little at a time. You would be surprised at how little you really need.) The result: a pretty darn good soup. Earthy, peppery, and a little bit sweet. The kids preferred bowls of broth and that worked for me; just think of all the dissolved nutrients.

Here's what went into the crock pot:

beets (about a cup's worth of chopped roots plus the greens.)
1 small zucchini
2 medium potatoes
1/2 cup dry lentils
1 tsp onion flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp basil
6 cups water
1 tsp "lite" salt


  1. I have never cooked with beets - and think I have only eaten them as beet salad in Germany. Looks tasty!

    1. That's funny, since I had never even thought of eating them raw. Beets were always for borscht when I was a kid. The only time I ate the greens was in this awesome dish involving tiny buns wrapped in beet leaves, soaked in fried onions and cream. Yum.


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