Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 2: Slow cooker Tuesday

On Tuesdays I always work from home, sometimes not finishing until 7.30 or 8 when I really don't have the time or the inclination to start cooking. This is where a slow cooker comes in handy - I can start the food off in any free moments during the day and then dinner will be waiting for me as soon as I finish work. It's almost (but not quite) like having someone else cooking your tea for you. I have a small 1.5 litre slowcooker which is described as a 2-person slow cooker but usually manages to produce up to 4 portions for me. 

For today's soup I decided to use one of the small munchkin pumpkins that are available at this time of year. I put it together with carrots and parsnip and as it was a cold grey rainy day I decided that some curry paste would liven things up. However the finished soup was almost a complete disaster as it was way too sweet for my taste and I had gone completely overboard with the curry paste. Fortunately I was able to more than redeem it at the end by adding 2 handfuls of red lentils and some more water which diluted the curry flavour, plus the juice of half a lemon which cut through the sweetness of the vegetables, turning it into a more of a lentil dal with the sweet flavours of the vegetables still discernable but more balanced. It was a really yummy soup which I ate with a mini naan bread.

Curried Carrot, Parsnip and Pumpkin Soup
1 medium onion, finely chopped 
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 parsnip, peeled and finely diced,
1 munchkin (or other small) pumpkin, peeled and chopped 
Curry paste or powder to taste (I used 2 dessertspoons of Korma Paste)
3 cups (600 mls) vegetable stock
1 cup (100 g) split red lentils
Crushed chillies to taste (optional) 
Juice of half a lemon

Saute the onion - I used a tablespoonful of stock for this but you could use sunflower oil - until soft and translucent. Add crushed garlic and spices and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes. Add vegetables and vegetable stock, bring to the boil and transfer to slow cooker, adding 1 cup of split red lentils. Cook for 5-6 hours - my slow cooker has an Auto function which starts off on High setting and then automatically switches down to Low. When the vegetables are tender, add the lemon juice, blend with a hand blender until smooth, and serve. 


  1. Even if it didn't taste great, it sure looks pretty!

  2. All the slowcooker recipes I've seen lately make me want to bust out mine!

  3. Fortunately it tasted just fine once I added the cooked lentils and the lemon juice. It helps me to remember that all is not necessarily lost when something goes wrong in a recipe - often there is a way to redeem things! And it did come out a fabulous colour!