There are many variations of lentil soup. Use this as a starting point and try other additions to make it something you like. This recipe is adapted from the lentil soup recipe from cookieandkate.com
2 Tablespoons oil (canola or olive is healthiest)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped (can use 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14 oz) can of 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 or vegetable or beef)
2 cups water
1 cup chopped fresh greens (OPTIONAL) (spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard)
Optional but recommended: 1 cup chopped ham OR 1 cup cooked Italian sausage
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.
Chop carrot, onion, and celery into small squares.
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.
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.
Turn the heat to high and bring it to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour; until the lentils are soft.
Presoaked lentils will cook faster than dry lentils.
If using sausage or ham: stir in cooked sausage or ham once the lentils are finished cooking