Lentil Soup with a Twist

No Lenten season is complete without a bowl of lentil soup!  My recipe may be a little different from what you’re used to.  I like to use some tomatoes.  As with most of my recipes, I learned this from my yiayia.  This year I decided to pour the soup over rice and it was AMAZING!  You could pour the soup over quinoa, rice, or maybe even pasta for something different.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 ½ hrs

1 cup lentils, sorted and rinsed
6 cups water
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
-if you like a lot of garlic, you can use real garlic to taste and ¼ tsp salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (reserve the drained liquid for the rice)
1-3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar

Optional: diced carrots

1 cup rice
2 cups water
Optional: Reserved tomato water form the canned, diced tomatoes

1. Sort the lentils.  Measure out 1 cup of lentils and pour them on the counter.  You want to sort out anything that is not a lentil.  Sometimes there are tiny parts of the plant.  My yiayia would always warn of rocks but I haven’t found any yet.  🙂 I like to rest the pot on my knee and put the rim of the pot under the lip of the counter.  That way you can quickly and easily get the lentils into the pot.

2. Pour water on the lentils and agitate them with your hand to wash them.  Drain.

3. Put lentils in the saucepan.  Cover with water and boil for 5 minutes.  Carefully drain.

4. Add 6 cups water and the rest of the ingredients. Bring it back to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

5. RICE: While the soup is cooking, make some rice in a separate pot.  I made 1 cup of rice, but you can make as much as you need for your family size.  1 part rice to 2 parts water.  I drained the can of tomatoes directly into a measuring cup and then filled the rest up with water to make 1 cup. It helps give the rice a little bit of a tomato taste.  Once the rice is done, set aside.

6. Back to the soup: As it cooks it will thicken up.  If it gets too thick, add some water as you go.  If it’s not thick enough, bring to boil for 15 minutes without the lid on.

7. After the beans cook for about 1 hr 15 minutes, add vinegar & cook an extra 10-15 mins

8. When you serve the soup, put a scoop of rice in the bowl.  Add the soup and mix.  Enjoy!