Brown might not be the most appetizing color for soup, even if little patches of orange carrots try to brighten things up. The taste and nutritional value of lentil soup make it worth getting past the drab color.
1 cup of dry lentils
4 cups onions (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 1/2 cups carrots (diced)
1 1/2 cups celery (diced)
2 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dry thyme
6 cups chicken broth
2 to 3 TBS tomato paste
1/2 pound kielbasa (small dice)
2 TBS vinegar (red wine or sherry)
1. Start softening the lentils by putting them in a bowl and covering them with boiling water. Let them sit while you sauté the veggies.
2. Heat the olive oil in a soup pan and saute the onions, garlic, carrots and celery over medium heat until they soften. Season with the salt, pepper and thyme while they’re cooking. This should take about ten minutes.
3. Drain the lentils and add them to the pot, along with the broth and the tomato paste. Stir well.
4. Bring the soup to a boil. Then lower the heat to maintain an active simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are soft.
5. Add the kielbasa and a splash of vinegar. Simmer for another few minutes until the kielbasa has been heated and the flavors have blended.
Some recipes suggest topping with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese. Don’t neglect the vinegar. It really brightens the flavor.