Hearty Lentil Soup
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaf
1/8 Tsp of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil (or thyme- I didn’t have Basil!)
2 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils (can mix it up and do a cup of red lentils and a cup of green)
4 cups water or broth (I prefer broth)
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced (I used the green ends of leeks. I always have some in my fridge)
2 tablespoons vinegar (some people liked adding Basalmic vinegar. I preferred using 3 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice and 3 Tbsp of red wine and skipped the vinegar)
salt to taste and ground black pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.
* You can also use a crockpot. I threw everything in my crockpot and let it cook on high for about 4 1/2 hours. I then blended some of the soup to thicken it up and mixed it back in.
* There are some great alterations you can make with this recipe by adding curry, cumin and ginger. Check out the reviews here for ideas.