Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup

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Okay, so I know soups are for winter, particularly when they include the word “hearty”. And the weather around here has been beautiful this week (we’re talking practically summer temps) so I don’t really have an excuse. But do I need one? I love soup, I love lentils, this one is super healthy, and it has been a lifesaver to have it in the freezer when I’ve spent the past week packing/moving/unpacking (PS – I’m loving my new place!)

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This soup is very filling, but it’s delicious served with a crusty whole grain bread and a light side salad. I particularly like the additions of cayenne pepper, crushed tomatoes, and lemon juice. I think they give it an extra little something. You’ll be able to put this together really quickly, so as long as you have an hour to let it cook, I think this would be a great weeknight meal. Or you could make it on a Sunday and freeze the leftovers, which turn out great. This one is definitely a keeper.

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Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup:

Makes 6-8 Servings

Adapted from Allrecipes & Love and Lentils

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 Onion, diced

3 cloves Garlic

2 – 3 Carrots, sliced

2 stalks Celery, sliced

2 cups Green Lentils, rinsed & picked through

1 tsp Dried Oregano

1 tsp Dried Basil

1 Bay Leaf

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 can Crushed Tomatoes

6 cups Vegetable Stock

1/2 cup Spinach, rinsed & chopped

2 tbsp Lemon Juice

Salt & Pepper, to taste

1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, cayenne, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

2. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more lemon juice if desired.

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