I have had lentils on my mind all week for some reason. I love lentils. Not only are they super healthy but they are perfect for chilly weather. When it's cold outside, nothing hits the spot like a warm and cozy bowl of soup. So today I decided to experiment and the end result was absolutely delicious. And I must say, this soup tastes like you labored over it for hours so SHHHHHH you don't need to tell anyone how easy it was to make. Just make a big pot and tell everyone you're exhausted from all that work...you may just end up getting a nice massage out of it :)
Enjoy this super comfy and cozy soup from my kitchen to yours!
1 cup lentils washed (no need to soak!)
5 large stalks of celery finely chopped
~1 cup of washed and ready to use chopped shredded carrots
1 medium onion chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
Garlic powder (~1/2 teaspoon or more if you like)
Crushed dried rosemary (~1/2 teaspoon)
Dried thyme (~1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups organic vegetable broth
4 cups water
5 cups washed organic baby spinach
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. Sauté the chopped celery, carrots and onion together in olive oil. Add dried rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Combine ingredients well and sauté until the veggies are nice and soft-- about 10 minutes. Note: if you have fresh thyme and rosemary, great! But dry is just as delicious.
2. Add the washed lentils, veggie broth and water and give the ingredients a good stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add tomato paste, and make sure it is completely dissolved...add vinegar...and again, mix well and reduce heat to allow contents to simmer for about 40-45 minutes. This is a good time to taste the soup and adjust salt, pepper and garlic powder to your palate.
3. After ~30-40 minutes, the lentils should be fully cooked. Remove the bay leaf. At this point, you can either, add the baby spinach and stir until the leaves wilt and garnish with croutons, parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper....OR if you want a thicker consistency, you can take about 2 cups of the soup and puree in a blender and then return the contents to the pot stirring all ingredients well and THEN add the spinach until wilted and top with croutons, parmesan cheese and pepper. It is up to you! Either way this soup is perfect for fall and winter and I am so excited for you to try!