Simple Lentil Soup

We had a few cool rainy days this week and I was too busy to go grocery shopping, so I ended up making one of my favorite soups just out of stuff I had hanging around. Easy to make, easy to vary.  Forgive me for inexact amounts.  I like making soup because you don’t have to do much measuring!  Feel free to add any other veggies you like, or use bulgur for the rice.  Quinoa might be good too, but I’ve never tried it in lentil soup.  No pics of this one because let’s face it, lentil soup is not pretty.

Lentil Soup
1lb lentils (any kind, but be aware that red ones sort of dissolve)
1 c brown rice
1/2 c wild rice (optional)
1 large onion, chopped
6 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, diced
couple cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
broth or water (I used half of each), enough to cover plus a few inches
*tamari or other soy sauce, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
fresh or dried herbs (try sage, thyme, parsley, oregano, etc)
a glob of tomato paste or a can of crushed or diced tomatoes, if you have them.

1. Rinse and sort the lentils then put them on to start boiling in the broth/water, with the bay leaf and the rice. Get them started while you chop your veggies.

2. After the lentils have simmered for about 20 mins, add all the veggies and dried herbs, as well as more broth or water if it’s getting too thick.

3. Cook it until the lentils, rice, and veggies are done, about an hour or more. Add tamari, tomato, salt, and fresh herbs to taste and simmer a few minutes more to blend the flavors.

*Note about tamari:  I like to add low-sodium tamari to my soups because it gives them what my mom calls “that mmmmm quality” without using so much salt or oil.  Tamari is a little more expensive than soy sauce, but I think it’s so much richer tasting that it’s worth the money.  Always go with low-sodium.  Bragg’s Liquid Aminos are also pretty good, especially if you can’t find tamari in your small-town grocery.  You can order Bragg’s online.

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