Simple Lentil Soup

From Jeanette's Healthy Living

You can use any kind of lentils - red, green, yellow, pink. Just adjust the cooking time as some lentils take longer to soften.

1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over for small stones

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks or 3 celery hearts, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

12 cups (or three 32-ounce boxes) vegetable stock or chicken stock

salt and pepper

Optional Add-In's:

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup brown rice, barley, farro or other whole grain

1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes

2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 bunch fresh spinach, swiss chard, kale or collard greens, cut into thin slivers

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil

Place all ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, and cook, covered, for about 1 hour, or until lentils are soft. Season with salt and pepper.

If you're using any of the add-ins (except for the spinach or other leafy green vegetables), just add them into the pot along with the other ingredients. The spinach or other leafy green vegetables should be added after the soup has cooked for one hour. Just stir in the vegetables and cook until they are just tender (spinach takes about a minute; kale and collard greens take longer).

This soup can easily be frozen.

Makes 12 cups.