There’s something about Crock-Pot cooking in the fall and winter. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate- it just makes sense. The best thing about Crock-Pot cooking is getting rid of the random ingredients you have laying around the fridge and pantry. The fact that you can literally dump all of your ingredients (in no particular order at that!) into one big “bowl” and let it cook on it’s own while you focus on living your life is also pretty rad. Let’s take a minute to honor the founder of the Crock-Pot. Whoever Mr. or Mrs. Crock-Pot is, I’d like to salute you today. Thank you for making our lives easier!
This hearty vegetable stew recipe was inspired by the abandoned carrots and celery chilling in our produce bin, along with the mountain of lentils we have sitting in the cupboard. A little imagination, an intense craving and a few minutes later, Voila, we had a hearty vegetarian stew cooking on it’s own for the hours leading up to dinner.
A wonderful thing about this hearty vegetable stew recipe is it uses common ingredients and will feed your family throughout the remainder of the week! It can also easily be made gluten-free with a minor substitution (see recipe below). How’s that for being efficient? So, grab your cutting board, whip out the hearty winter vegetables and get the Crock-Pot fired up. You’re going to love this recipe!
Hearty Crock-Pot Winter Vegetable Stew Recipe
- 6 stalks of celery
- 1 lb carrots
- 1 large sweet yellow onion
- 5 medium red potatoes
- 1 large can (28 oz) diced organic tomatoes with juice
- 3/4 cups dry barley (any kind - I used Job's Tear) * see note below if gluten free
- 1 cup whole dry lentils (I used a blend)
- 32 oz vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic- pressed
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 3 T olive oil plus 1 tsp
- 1 heaping T nutritional yeast
- Bring medium to large pot with 5 cups of water to boil
- Add in barley and lentils - this is to par boil them before putting in Crock Pot (if using quinoa, omit this step and reduce water to 3 cups)
- Let simmer for 20 minutes, until slightly tender, strain when ready, set aside
- Clean carrots, potatoes and celery - peel first layer off of carrots and brown spots off potatoes
- Chop all vegetables while barley and lentils are par boiling
- Add vegetables, lentils, liquids and seasonings to Crock Pot in that order
- Stir until evenly mixed
- Cook for 6 to 8 hours in Crock Pot - 10 if you are doing first thing in the morning!
- Serve with warm crusty bread and a glass of your favorite wine 🙂
- For a gluten free version - sub in quinoa for barley. Top with giardiniera, avocado and your favorite dairy-free cheese. YUM!