Lentil Soup (Serves 6)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium celery stalk, small dice
• 1 medium carrot, peeled and small dice
• 1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
• 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
• 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
• 1 1/4 cups lentils (any color except red), rinsed
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
• 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
• 2 ounces spinach leaves (about 1/2 a bunch)
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies have softened, roughly 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with some general pinches of salt and pepper.
2. Add the broth, tomatoes (with their juices), lentils, bay leaf, and thyme and mix to combine. Cover the pot and bring to the simmer, roughly 15 minutes. Once simmering, reduce to a low heat and continue to simmer, covered, until the lentils and vegetables have become soft, about 15 minutes.
3. Taste and season with some more salt and pepper, then stir in the vinegar. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. If you prefer a creamier texture, purée half the soup in a blender and add it back to the pot.