Slow Cooker Black Bean & Lentil Soup {with Smoked Paprika}

makes about 8 servings

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 larges stalks celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp smoked paprika (not regular paprika!)

2 bay leaves

1 (14 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (you can use regular, but the fire-roasted variety really adds to the smoky flavor of the soup)

1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed and sorted

1 (14 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 (14 oz.) cans vegetable or chicken broth

3 cups water

2 tsp dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on low 8-10 hours or until vegetables and lentils are tender.

Remove and discard bay leaves. Using stick or immersion blender, blend a few seconds or until consistency is to your liking (it should still be a little bit chunky). Note: if you don't have an immersion blender (although you most certainly should!), you can put about half the soup in your regular blender and blend until combined, but not completely pureed. Then stir into remaining soup for the same effect. This gives the soup a wonderfully creamy feel.

Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Courtesy of: