This hearty, herby soup is delicious fresh, and even better the next day.
knife or food processor
Dutch oven or large stock pot
1 T olive oil
1 c onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 c vegetable stock
2/3 c brown lentils, rinsed
2 carrots, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
1 bay leaf
6 oz tomato paste
¼ c fresh parsley, minced
1 T thyme, minced
1 T dill, minced
1 T tarragon, minced
1 t marjoram, minced
½ t pepper
½ t salt
28 oz tomatoes, chopped (with juice)
Heat oil over medium heat, add onion and garlic, and sauté, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until translucent.
Increase to high heat, and add stock, lentils, carrots, celery, and bay leaf. Bring to boil, then cover pan and reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes, until everything is tender.
Meanwhile, combine tomato paste, herbs, and spices, and set aside.
Discard bay leaf. Add a cup of soup into the tomato paste mixture and stir until smooth, then add this back into the soup, along with the tomatoes.
Heat through, taste, and adjust seasoning.
An easy way to deal with the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery is to just toss them all in the food processor and pulse until minced.
The amounts given for herbs assume you are using fresh herbs (which I feel are infinitely preferable). If you use dried herbs, use one-fourth to one-third as much (e.g., instead of 1 T fresh use 1 t dried).
Adapted from A Beautiful Bowl of Soup: The best vegetarian recipes, by Paulette Mitchell.