Each week at our Weight Watcher meeting we are given a weekly brochure which contains, among other things, recipes for healthy meals. A few weeks back the weekly contained a recipe for a slow-cooker stew. I was attracted to it both for the ingredients and because it offered a generous serving yet was low calorie. You'll notice the title of this post indicated a "soup." As you'll note when you peruse the ingredients, other than a small amount of tomato paste, there is nothing in the list that would serve as a thickening agent. This was a soup, not a stew. I also should have followed my instinct and replaced the lean beef round called for with chuck, which has a good marbling of fat. The small amount of beef in each serving would have still qualified the dish as healthy. With that understanding and the replacement of chuck for round, I can heartily recommend this soup.
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 lb beef chuck, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tbs tomato paste
3/4 cup dry lentils
4 cups lower sodium beef broth
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup fresh, slivered basil
freshly grated Pecorino-Romano
Place all ingredients except the basil in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on low setting for 6 hours. Remove cover and stir in basil. Cover and cook 5 minutes more. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.
Despite the lean round being a bit dry, the flavor of this soup was excellent. I did remove the beef and shred it then add it back to the pot before serving. I also took the liberty of adding some grated cheese before serving. With some garlic bread and salad, this made a satisfying dinner.