Originated in the Near East as one of the oldest domesticated crops, the lentil has been used for centuries throughout the Mediterranean region, the Middle East as well as North America for inexpensive and very nutritious meals. Lentils provide a high level of proteins, important dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and minerals. Because of this, they play an important role in a vegetarian and vegan diet. This lentil soup is not only very delicious but also very healthy.
- 3 tbs. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup lentils (brown or green Le Puy), sorted and rinsed
- 3 cup water
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 2 tbs. thyme or oregano
- 2 tbs. Dijon mustard
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup leaf spinach (frozen or fresh), slightly chopped
Using a large soup pot, heat the oil and add the onions and celery.
Saute until they are golden.
Add bay leaves and garlic.
After two minutes add the tomato paste and wine.
Add the lentils and enough broth to cover with a couple inches of liquid. Simmer uncovered, stirring from time to time to keep the lentils from sticking on the bottom.
Add water, wine or vegetable bouillon as needed.
The soup should cook for about 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add a couple tablespoons of thyme or oregano, and season to taste with pepper.
Add the spinach and cook gently until the spinach is cooked.
At the last minute stir in 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard and serve immediately.