I got this recipe from my Aunt Sara a few years ago and have busted it out every year as soon as it is cool enough to warrant soup making. It is very filling and makes a ton of soup so I usually freeze some of it and it reheats quite well. But if you don't want to eat this all week and/or freeze some or share with friends, I'd suggest halving it. This time I made it with this bread (which I also got from an Aunt) and it was a wonderful duo. The recipe says to garnish with fresh parmesan cheese, which I usually do (as seen in the photo) but I think I actually like it more without. (And I wish I'd photographed it pre-cheese since it makes it look a little weird.) A perfect soup for these cold autumn days.
Lentil Vegetable Soup
Serves a whole lot of people
1 pound lentils
4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large onions)
4 cups chopped leeks, white part only (2 leeks)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
¼ cup good olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on top
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups medium-diced celery (8 stalks)
3 cups medium-diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
3 quarts vegetable stock
¼ cup tomato paste
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
In a large stockpot on medium heat, sauté the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender. Add the celery and carrots and sauté for 10 more minutes. Add the stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for one hour, until the lentils are cooked through. Check the seasonings. Add the red wine vinegar and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil.