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Soup Days: Spinach, Tomato and Lentil Soup

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Lentil soup reminds me of home. And when I say home…I mean the home I grew up in, with my parents and grandparents and younger siblings. Any time I cook up a pot of lentils it immediately brings me back to those days when my Nonna or Nonno would serve us all a bowl of ‘lenticchie‘ on a chilly winter night.

I make a pot of lentil soup at least a few times a year. My recipe always makes enough to eat for several bowls plus some to freeze up for future meals. It’s a big pot of soup so it goes a long way. Lentils are full of protein, are hearty and when seasoned and topped with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, are the ultimate healthy comfort food.

Enjoy a bowl of this spinach, tomato and lentil soup with a nice chunk of crusty Italian bread and a glass of wine for the perfect winter dinner.

Spinach, Tomato and Lentil Soup
Recipe from Aggie’s Kitchen

1lb dried lentils
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 carrots, diced
2-3 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cans diced Italian tomatoes, with liquid
2 TB vegetable or chicken bouillion (I like the Better than Bouillon brand, if you don’t have bouillon, just use a vegetable or chicken broth in place of all or some water for flavor)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
8 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 bag fresh spinach
fresh grated Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil, for serving

In a large pot, heat olive oil and add vegetables, garlic, bouillon, spices and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Saute vegetables in oil for about 7-10 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add diced tomatoes, water (or broth), and lentils to vegetable mixture.

Bring soup to a slow boil for a few minutes, then back down to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes, until soup starts to thicken. Taste for seasoning as its cooking, add more water if it gets too thick.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add fresh spinach leaves to soup and gently stir to combine.

 

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