During the previous cold spell, I finally got around to opening the small bag of lentils I bought months ago. I remember as a child this being my favorite soup. It was surreal to make this myself instead of eagerly watching my mother. Earthy, mild and thick. Beware: this recipe will easily serve 8 people, so half accordingly.
-large large pot or dutch oven, with a lid
2 medium red potatoes
2 celery stalks
2 large carrots, peeled
1 large white onion
2 c. lentils, washed and sorted
1/2 c. brown rice
2 tbsp. olive oil
10 c. water
1 bay leaf*
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Parmesan cheese (for topping)
*McCormick spices are GF; all lentils should be GF-- wash them well
1. Cut the potatoes into small cubes, about 1/4th inch on each side. Peel the carrots, slice, then chop up into small pieces. Cut up the celery and onion likewise into small pieces. Pour veggies into large pot.
2. Spoon lentils out of bag 1/4th cup at a time onto a paper towel or plate. Sort through the dry lentils with your fingers, picking out twigs, pebbles or other foreign material. Rinse shifted lentils, then place into pot with veggies. Continue to sort and rinse until needed volume of lentils is shifted/washed and placed in pot.
3. Measure out brown rice and add in with lentils/veggies. Pour olive oil over all and mix well.
4. Add 10 cups of water to pot along with a bay leaf. [New cooks: be sure to REMOVE the bay leaf before eating.. the leaf is just for flavor while cooking]
5. Heat pot over high heat until lentils come to a rolling boil. Then turn heat all the way down to medium-low and cover with a large lid.
6. Let soup simmer gently for 45 minutes. Uncover and stir well every 10 minutes or so-- the soup will quickly thicken, so make sure the lentils do not start sticking to the bottom of your pot. Turn heat down to low if the lentils begin to stick.
7. Once lentils and potatoes are tender, and the soup is a lovely shade of earthy grey-brown, remove from heat and stir in the 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar. Serve warm, generously topped with Parmesan cheese, alongside a nice slice of GF bread. This tastes even better the next day.