Slow Cooker Winter Vegetable and Farro Stew
6 medium clove(s), chopped, divided
½ cup(s), flat leaf variety, coarsely chopped
½ tsp, or to taste, divided
¼ tsp, or to taste, divided
uncooked fennel bulb(s)
1 medium, chopped
1 medium, yellow, chopped
10 oz, button or shiitake, cut into bite-size pieces
uncooked kabocha squash
2 pound(s), or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-in pieces (4 c)
28 oz, whole San Marzano variety, crushed
fat free reduced sodium vegetable broth
¾ cup(s), rinsed
¾ cup(s), black, green or brown variety, rinsed
1 oz, shaved
- Combine 1/3 of garlic and parsley in a small bowl; season with a pinch each salt and pepper, and set aside.
- If you have a slow cooker insert that you can saute in on the stovetop, use it to heat oil over medium-high heat. Add fennel seed and remaining garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant and fennel and garlic begin to smell toasty, about 2 minutes. Add fennel bulb, onion, and mushrooms and season with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, if your slow cooker does not have a saute option, you can saute vegetables in a large skillet and transfer to slow cooker at this stage).
- Add squash, tomatoes, broth, farro, and lentils to slow cooker; season with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste). Cover slow cooker and set heat to high; cook until farro, lentils, and squash are completely cooked through, 4 hours. Uncover, stir and season to taste, if needed. Serve topped with garlic-parsley mixture and cheese.
- Serving size: 2 1/2 c