YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Red September Soup

I am trying to keep to a new plan, which is to make a crockpot full of soup every Sunday. My hope is that it lasts far into the week, providing warm lunches or dinners to anyone in need, until it’s all gone. I started the first week with a green French lentil soup, but last week I decided to go red — red beans, red lentils, red tomatoes, red paprika. 

Once the beans soften, I recommend turning off the crockpot and leaving it to cool for a couple of hours. Then fill a bunch of Ball jars, close them tight, and put them in the refrigerator. When I made this, I tossed one jar into my bag the next morning, and off I drove. Easy-peasy lunch, and filling, too. Here is the complete recipe I made for week two of my Sunday soup challenge:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 c. red kidney beans, dry
1/2 c. red lentils, dry
2 large potatoes, scrubbed and diced 3/4-inch
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped coarsely
4 large tomatoes, washed and diced 3/4-inch (straight from our garden!!)
6-8 collard greens, rinsed, ribbed, rolled and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons
1 small-medium jalapeno, sliced in half, seeded, and sliced thinly
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. red paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper

Splash the olive oil into the bottom of the crockpot, and sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, potatoes, onions, beans, lentils, garlic and jalapeno. Fill crockpot 1/2 way with water, add bay leaf, and set to high heat. Allow to cook 2-3 hours, turn down heat to low, and cook 2 hours more until beans are quite soft. Check the crockpot once or twice while cooking, and add water, if necessary, to keep all the vegetables and beans submerged. Once the soup is sufficiently cool, you can remove the bay leaf and refrigerate. Store the soup covered in a pitcher or large bowl, or use Ball jars to divide your soup into individual servings. Eat it with plenty of hot sauce — red, of course.

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