One of my favorite vendors at the Farmer's Market is a couple that sells a nice supply of dried peas and grains.  Last week they had red lentils so I snagged a 2 pound bag and finally got around to making some soup.

I love how light lentil soup can be, yet also filling and fairly quick to cook compared to a lot of dried legumes out there.  This soup is hearty and can easily stand alone as it's own main dish but also works well as a side.  Like most soups it also freezes extremely well so you'll be enjoying this on some cold Winter nights as well.

Ingredients

1 Cup Red lentils, rinsed

1 large onion, chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

3 large carrots, diced

3 Bay Leaves

1 Tsp. Dried cumin

1 TBSP Kosher Salt

Black pepper

2 TBSP dried Thyme

Dash of Liquid Smoke

1/2 red bell pepper diced.

8 cups water

In a large dutch oven or pan saute the onions, celery, and carrots until the onions are translucent and soft.  Add the peppers and continue cooking until onions begin to brown.  Add the water and bring to a gentle boil. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until lentils start to fall apart, about 30 minutes.

Transfer 90% of the soup to a blender and puree, or use a hand mixer in the pot leaving some small chunks.  Return Puree to the pot and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.  Soup will be creamy in texture.  Season with Salt and Pepper before serving.

 

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