- 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
- 1lb dried lentils
- 2 15 oz cans diced Italian tomatoes, with liquid
- 4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
- 5 cups water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 4 pinches kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, divided
- 10 oz bag fresh spinach
- fresh grated Parmesan, for serving
- In a large pot, heat olive oil and add diced carrots, celery, onion, pepper and minced garlic. Season with 2 pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper. Saute vegetables in oil for about 7-10 minutes until soft and fragrant.
- Add lentils, diced tomatoes, vegetable or chicken stock and water to vegetable mixture. Add 2 more pinches of salt.
- Bring soup to a slow boil over medium high heat for a few minutes, then back down to a simmer over low heat. Simmer, with lid half on, for about 35-40 minutes stirring occasionally, until soup starts to thicken.
- Taste for salt and pepper as its cooking and add more water if it gets too thick. The lentils will absorb most of the liquid in the soup while cooking but you’ll still want it to have liquid once done cooking.
- In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add fresh spinach leaves to soup and gently stir to combine.
- Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and lots of it!
This recipe makes about 15 cups of soup and about 8-10 servings, based on serving size. I like to freeze my leftover soup in 4 cup glass Pyrex containers like these (affiliate link). To defrost, set in refrigerator overnight and warm slowly in a pot over medium heat or in individual bowls in microwave. Add additional liquid if needed.
Keywords: vegetarian, soup, italian, lentil