Finally! I have found a lentil recipe that my family will eat. I started with Marie's lentil soup recipe and combed through the comments to discover the best ways to tweak it. The result is a hearty, flavorful thick lentil soup with lots of veggies. I finely chopped the veggies, letting my Vitamix do the work on the carrots, to get a more uniform texture and to disguise them for my picky eater, who has issues with food textures. Next time, I will probably use crushed tomatoes, like the original recipe calls for, or petite diced tomatoes. If you are going to save some for later, remove that amount and do not add the kale or spinach to it until you are ready to serve it.
Hearty Lentil Soup
3-4 Tb olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
2 tsp ground cumin
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 Tb tomato paste
2 cups dried lentils
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or half water)
1 cup ditalini or other small pasta
1/2 cup kale or spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 Tb apple cider vinegar
Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until veggies are tender.
Stir in garlic, oregano, basil, cumin, and bay leaf; cook for a couple of minutes.
Stir in lentils, water, chicken broth, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour, adding the pasta about 15 minutes before serving.
Just before serving, stir in kale or spinach and cook until it wilts. Add vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each serving with grated Parmesan, if desired.