Red Lentil, Fennel and Chicken Slow Cooker Soup

Not only delicious, but with a silent I-told-you-so built in.

Serving Size: 12

Red Lentil, Fennel and Chicken Slow Cooker Soup / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman / themom100.com This is the Story of The Day I Became a Tailgating Football Mom.  Or something like that.

So, I live in New York City.  If you’ve never been, it looks much as it does on tv.  Lots of people, tall buildings,  subways, commerce, noise (I love it by the way).  And both my kids play football.  One of the first things any non-New Yorker will say upon hearing that is “WHERE?  Where do they play?  That’s so weird.”  The answer is that they play some games at competing schools’ fields, when those schools are in the surrounding boroughs or suburbs.  Their practices and “home games” take place on Randall’s Island, a strange little island across the East River that has a large number of sports fields dispersed amongst a few structures such as a Golf Center, a Sewage Treatment Plant, and a Mental Hospital. Red Lentil, Fennel and Chicken Slow Cooker Soup / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman / themom100.com Only when I put things like this down on paper do I realize how odd it sounds.  And how I am actively confirming non-New Yorkers perceptions that we live a very singular existence here in our fair city.

Anyway, the first time I made this soup I ended up bringing it to Jack’s football game, right in the slow cooker.   Gary (who is now a 23-year veteran New Yorker) thought this was just plain odd (even though he grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts, where I gather things like this happen all the time.)  We left without the soup, but continued the argument in the car on the street (we have a car in Manhattan.  we are crazy).  He kept asking where I would put the soup, and how I would serve it, as though I was planning to bring crème brule and a blowtorch to the field.  The boys had already left for the game; had they been home I’m sure they would have lent their voices to the “this-is-so-weird” protest.

It was a fairly heated discussion but in the end he went back up to our apartment and, with his lips pressed together pretty disapprovingly, retrieved the pot of hot soup. We arrived at Randall’s Island, and actually got the really, really good field, upwind of the Sewage Plant, and with actual bleachers.  Someone had actually brought a table for people to drop off snacks on (thus solving the problem of where I would put it), and I dropped off a ladle, and some plastic bowls, and spoons next to it (thus solving the problem of how I would serve it).

It was the final game, the Super Bowl, of their league, against their arch rival school, and tensions were high. I will spare you the blow by blow, and jump right to the part where my kids’ school won, completing their first second undefeated season in the history of the high school.  (It’s like I just discovered the italics key for the first time, and I am born again as a writer). Red Lentil, Fennel and Chicken Slow Cooker Soup / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman / themom100.com Oh, and the soup?  Gone.  And adorable 16-year old girls came up to me all night, and said, “Did you make the soup – it was so good!” which I may or may not need to tell you makes a middle aged woman feel terrific.

God, that was a long story.  Anyway, this soup is pretty good, thick, fragrant with cumin and coriander, kind of dal-like in personality.   I would definitely add the fresh parsley at the end, though the football game is purely optional.

Red Lentil, Fennel and Chicken Slow Cooker Soup

Print

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cored and chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ½ pound dried red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced small
  • 5 cups less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley, plus more to serve if desired

1. In a large (5-quart or more) slow cooker combine the onion, garlic, fennel, carrots, lentils, cumin, coriander, chicken, broth and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Cook on high for 4 hours. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Stir in the parsley and serve. Sprinkle servings with additional parsley if desired.

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6 thoughts on “Red Lentil, Fennel and Chicken Slow Cooker Soup”

  1. Beatrice says:

    Kattie! Lol the Super bowl, this sure looks yummy, i will try it out after vacation.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      it will be even better when the weather gets colder!

  2. Diego Lopes says:

    Slow cooker soups are amazing! They’re so creamy and tasty, can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Katie Workman says:

      Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  3. Trisha L. says:

    Is there a good substitute for the fennel bulb? My rural area markets don’t carry fennel.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      You can just use celery, about 4 stalks! If you want do add a pinch of crushed anise seed for that slight licorice-y flavor go ahead!

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