This is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe in “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”. Halved it, simplified it a little, and made it completely vegetarian. The French green lentils are nice, but I’ve also made it with red or regular green lentils (even in combination, see picture below). What really makes this quick soup special is the dash of vinegar before serving. Sounds weird, but don’t skip it!
½ lb. French green lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced yellow onions
1 ½ cups diced carrots (3 – 4 carrots)
1 ½ cups diced celery (3 – 4 stalks)
1 teaspoon dried bouquet garni, or thyme
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart vegetable stock
15-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1 bay leaf
red wine vinegar and parmesan cheese for serving
After picking them over for stones, etc., place lentils in a large metal bowl, cover with boiling water and let stand 15 minutes. Drain.
In a large stockpot or dutch oven, sauté onions carrots, celery with spices, salt and pepper with olive oil over medium heat, until onions are translucent and soft, 15 – 20 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
Add stock, tomatoes, bay leaf and drained lentils. You might also want to fill the (unrinsed) tomato can with water and add that. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about one hour, until lentils and vegetables are cooked through. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot, with a dash of vinegar and a sprinkled of grated parmesan on top.
Printable version here: LENTIL VEGETABLE SOUP
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