Lentil Soup

The perfect way to blast away your rainy day blues is to enjoy a steaming bowl of homemade soup. Of course, everyone has his or her favorite liquid remedy: chicken noodle, clam chowder, minestrone, to name a few. One that often gets overlooked is lentil. Not only is it easy to make and tastes great, this recipe practically packs in your entire day’s worth of veggies into one pot, which is sure to help you avoid those nasty winter bugs.

1/2 large onion

3 carrots

4-5 stalks of celery

3-4 zucchinis

1 red bell pepper

1-2 cloves chopped garlic

1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes

1 lb. lentils, picked over

8 c. vegetable stock or water

1 Tbs. (or more) each cumin and ground coriander

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. curry powder or garam masala (optional)

2 bay leaves

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

In a large pot or Dutch oven, warm a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, cut up all the vegetables-chop coarsely for a chunkier soup or finely dice them if you want a smoother consistency (or are trying to hide veggies from picky eaters). Saute the vegetables and garlic in the warmed oil for about eight minutes (a little longer if your vegetables are chunkier), and then stir in all of the ground spices, salt and pepper to taste, and the lentils. Saute for one more minute, and pour in the entire can of tomatoes, including the juice, the bay leaves, and the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook on low for about 45 minutes. If you prefer a smoother soup, use a blender to break up some of the lentils and vegetables, and then enjoy!

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