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Lentil Soup


There are many variations of lentil soup. Use this as a starting point and try different additions to make it something you like. You could try adding more vegetables, ham, bacon or sausage.


Serves: about 2 adults and 4 kids (leftovers freeze well)

Time: about 1 hour (15 minutes active time) 



2 Tablespoons oil (canola or olive is healthiest)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes 

1 cup brown lentils (to decrease gassiness, soak your lentils in water for up to 24 hours before using)

4 cups broth (chicken vegetable or beef)

2 cups water

1 cup chopped fresh greens (OPTIONAL) (spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard)

optional: 1 pound browned italian sausage or 8 oz diced ham



1.  If possible, soak lentils in room temperature water for up to 24 hours before making the soup.  When you are ready to cook the soup, drain and discard the soaking liquid.  Soaking helps the lentils cook faster and makes them easier to digest.  However, soaking the lentils first is not necessary.


2.  Chop carrot, onion, and celery into small squares.  


3.  Place oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Once oil is hot, add vegetables and stir.  Turn heat to medium and cook until soft but not brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.


4.  Add minced garlic, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 (14.5oz) can of crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of lentils, 4 cups of broth, and 2 cups of water to the pot.  (if using cooked ham or sausage, add it now)


5.  Turn the heat to high and bring it to a boil.


6.  Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour; until the lentils are soft.  

7.  Serve hot, leftovers can be frozen.

*notes*  If using pre-cooked Ham or Sausage, add it in with the lentils.  If you need to brown the sausage first, you can do that before cooking the onion.  Drain the extra fat off of the meat and continue to cook it along with the onion, proceeding with the recipe as written.


Presoaked lentils will cook faster than dry lentils. 


This can be cooked in the crockpot, about 3 hours on low heat, until the lentils are soft.

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