Colleen's Slow Cooker Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew

Warm your belly and satisfy your appetite with this hearty and wholesome dinner option. This meal is perfect for a lazy weekend evening or a busy weekday dinner.

2 tbsp olive oil
3 medium onions, minced
1 lb Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
6 medium cloves garlic, minced
6 cups vegetable broth
1 lb carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
12 oz Portobello mushrooms, caps and gills removed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
7 oz green lentils
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
ground black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Combine ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Serve and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Makes 6-8 servings.