Easy Lentil Soup

1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over for small stones

1 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

6 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock

salt and pepper

Optional Add-In's:

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

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 bunch fresh spinach

Place all ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, and cook, covered, for 1 hour. 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 6 cups.