I love cooking lentils in the slow cooker. You can let them go until they absolutely fall apart, or stop the cooking when the lentils are soft but still holding together. This Moroccan lentil stew, from Taste and Tell, cooks lentils, potatoes and butternut squash at the same time, allowing them to meld into a uniformly creamy stew, and adds green beans at the end to keep the beans just a bit crunchy. The seasoning comes from curry powder, which I don't usually think of as particularly Moroccan; you could substitute a Syrian or Arabic spice blend for a nice effect.
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Do you have a blender? If you do, you'll be slurping this thick and creamy (but cream-free) coconut chickpea and kale soup from Kahakai Kitchen in less than 15 minutes. As an added bonus, according to Deb, "chickpeas are a good source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that your body needs to make protein. High tryptophan foods play a role in lifting your mood, and tryptophan is even used therapeutically to help treat anxiety, depression and sleep disorders." So this quick-and-easy soup also helps you relax, and that sounds good to me.
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Over the holidays, my husband Ted and I took our granddaughters to the Boston Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker, and afterwards, we stopped at a local sandwich shop for a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I don't know who first paired those two classic dishes, but nothing has ever surpassed the deliciousness of that combination. This classic tomato soup from Karen at Soup Addict starts with canned tomatoes, which are the only option for many of us at this time of year. A quick roasting deepens the flavor, and the whole soup comes together in less than an hour. Make it for Meatless Monday, and don't forget the grilled cheese!
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