• Posted by Karen Dill on February 7th, 2009, 12:47 PM

    Dried lentils do not need soaking, only a rinse or two before they are cooked. I add a bone from the freezer that I’ve saved from the Christmas ham. You can bake the cornbread while the soup simmers for an hour or so.

    Ingredients

    1/4 cup olive oil

    1 onion, chopped

    2 carrots, diced

    2 stalks celery, chopped

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    1 bay leaf

    1 teaspoon dried basil

    2 cups dry lentils

    8 cups water

    1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

    1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced

    2 tablespoons vinegar

    Salt & freshly ground black pepper

    Parmesan cheese (optional)

    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, oregano, bay leaf, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

    2.    Stir in the lentils, 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 vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper and more vinegar, if desired.

    3.    Top with shaved Parmesan cheese.

    Karen Dill lives in Webster, North Carolina, which is located in the Smoky Mountains near the town of Sylva.

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