Fall Lentil Squash Risotto

Fall and winter are prime crockpot cooking time. I love being about to throw a few ingredients together before work and have a warm and hearty meal ready by the time I get home. This recipe is a flavorful fall meal staple in our house because it makes use of the season's abundant (and inexpensive) squash, it's  easy to make, and it has a vegetarian protein source. There are a few optional ingredients that I included partially for depth of flavor, but mainly because they were going bad in the fridge and I needed to use them :) 

Cozy blanket and pillow not included...

Lentil Squash Risotto
Serves 6

3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups white wine
1-2 cups water
2 Tbsp butter (use Earth Balance to make it vegan)
1 cup arborio rice, rinsed
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed
1/2 butternut squash, cubed (roughly 2 cups)
1/2 onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
Fresh herbs

Place the squash, onion, celery and carrots if using, rice, lentils and butter in a crockpot. Pour the vegetable broth, wine, and water over the contents. Read on to determine the amount of water to use and cook time. 

If you prefer your risotto and veggies al dente, use only 1 cup of water and set the crockpot on high for 2 hours. 

If you or your kiddos prefer your risotto and veggies completely softened, use 2 cups of water and set the crockpot on high for 4 hours. This is what we did.

Set it and forget it. This is the slow cooker I use.
Stir to combine all the ingredients after the cook time is up. This dish has enough flavor on its on, but if you want to contrast the rich creaminess of the risotto, top individual bowls with fresh herbs. The herbs used will alter the flavor slightly, so personal taste comes in again. I sprinkled chives and rosemary on top because it's what I had on hand. 

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