The Soup Made with Lentils

Lentil soup is a hearty and nutritious dish that's perfect for colder days or whenever you're in need of a comforting meal. This recipe is simple to make, packed with protein and fiber from the lentils, and can be customized with your favorite vegetables and seasonings. Here's how to make a delicious lentil soup:

Ingredients: 1 cup dried lentils (any variety), rinsed and drained 1 onion, diced 2 carrots, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 bay leaf Salt and pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil Optional toppings: fresh parsley, lemon wedges, Greek yogurt or sour cream, grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare the Lentils: Rinse the lentils under cold water in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear. Pick through the lentils to remove any debris or small stones. Drain well and set aside.

Sauté the Aromatics: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are softened and the onions are translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

Add the Lentils and Broth: Stir in the rinsed and drained lentils to the pot with the sautéed vegetables. Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth and diced tomatoes with their juices. Add the dried thyme, oregano, bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer the Soup: Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer, partially covered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Adjust Seasoning and Serve: Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Remove the bay leaf from the soup before serving. Ladle the hot lentil soup into bowls and garnish with optional toppings such as chopped fresh parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice, a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream, or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

For extra flavor, you can add diced potatoes, sweet potatoes, or winter squash to the soup along with the carrots and celery. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup until it reaches your desired consistency. Lentil soup tends to thicken as it sits, so you may need to add more broth or water when reheating leftovers.

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