Lentil Vegetable Soup

From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten 8-10 servings

1 lb french green lentils

4 cups chopped yellow onion (about 3 large onions)

4 cups chopped leeks, white parts (about 3 large leeks)

1 tbls minced garlic (3 cloves)

1/4 cup large olive oil

1 tbls salt

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

1 tbls fresh minced thyme, or 1 tsp dried

1 tsp ground cumin

3 cups medium diced celery

3 cups medium diced carrots

3 quarts chicken stock

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 tbls red wine vinegar

freshly grated Parmesan cheese as a garnish

In a large bowl cover lentils with boiling water and let sit for 15 minutes, then strain and put into soup when recipe states. In large stainless steel stock pot saute onions, leeks, and garlic with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender and translucent. Add celery and carrots and sauté for another 15 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomato paste, and lentils, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, until lentils are cooked through. Add red wine vinegar and serve hot, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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