Peasants have known about the virtues of lentils for millennia: high in protein and fiber, inexpensive, and nourishing, lentils make a thrifty and healthful dish.
This hearty, tasty soup combines lentils with autumn vegetables to make a one-pot supper perfect for the autumn season.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 cup dried brown lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large ribs celery, chopped
1 cup chopped cabbage
1 large carrot, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the lentils, broth, bay leaf, and pepper. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
2. Pour half of the mixture into a bowl and reserve. Pour the remaining mixture into a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth. Return the puree to the pot. Add the celery, cabbage, and carrot. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, so the flavors blend. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, vinegar, and the reserved lentil mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until heated through. Remove and discard the bay leaf before serving.