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Lentil Soup

Mama Victoria’s Organic Lentil Soup

It’s still soup weather and this hearty vegan lentil soup is a family favorite. This recipe was very basic and I tweaked it to suit my family’s taste. You can add or replace veggies you prefer. If I have cauliflower on hand, it makes a great substitute for potatoes. For a little variety, try adding a can of white beans. Go ahead, make it your own. When you run short on time, microwave the celery and carrots with a bit of water and add them (including liquid) with the spinach in the last twenty minutes of simmer.  Enjoy!

Mama Victoria’s Organic Lentil Soup  

Ingredients: Organic, whenever possible

2 ½ cups of green/or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
3 Tb olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 packed cup fresh spinach, sautéed til still bright green
3 medium red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ cup of TVP (or your choice of meat: 1 cup of ground beef or 1 cup of ground turkey)
12 cups of filtered water
9 tsp vegetable broth granules or equivalent (See note. I use unsalted broth)
1 ½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried basil
1 tsp sea salt (add after lentils are tender)
Dash of black pepper

In a dutch oven or stock pot, pour 12 cups of water and turn up heat to boil while preparing vegetables.

In a large skillet, saute’ diced onions for 4 minutes, add minced garlic, saute’ one minute longer, add lentils and saute’ 4 more minutes.
When water comes to a boil, lower heat to medium, and add broth, thyme, basil, and pepper (hold salt until later, as salt will toughen lentils if you add it now). Add the lentils, onions, garlic, and diced carrots and celery to the dutch oven. Lower heat to simmer, add a cover for about 20 minutes. Lentils will be tender. While lentils are cooking, saute’ spinach until it is smaller and still bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. Add spinach and potatoes to soup mixture when lentils are tender, add salt, stir, and simmer an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Note: You may want to adjust the broth strength to your taste. I use a vegan granulated broth (Vogue) on the shelf at Fred Meyer in the natural food section. When using canned broth, subtract the water, cup for cup of broth.
Serve hot with crusty bread or crackers.

Questions? Please post them in ‘comments’

Revised 3-17-2013