Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

From Donna Deane’s Low Fat Kitchen.

Vegetarian Lentil Soup
Active Work Time:  20 minutes
Total Preparation Time:  1 hour 20 minutes

1 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
Nonstick cooking spray (or just wipe a bit of oil on the pot bottom)
16 ounces (1 pound) lentils
10 cups water
6 sprigs thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried leaves)
2 1/2 teaspoons salt  (I only use 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper

. Saute onion, garlic, carrots and celery over medium heat in 5-quart sauce pot sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Cook about 2 minutes, stirring, then reduce heat to low, cover and let vegetables steam until softened, 8 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

. Add lentils and water, then thyme sprigs and salt.  Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

. Remove thyme sprigs.  Puree half soup in blender until smooth (or for a short cut and fewer items to clean, I just insert an immersion blender in the pot and run it until about half the soup is pureed).  Return to pot.  Stir in vinegar and pepper to taste.  (Or you can offer the wine vinegar plus chopped red onion on the side.  The soup is also good topped with a dollop of low-fat sour cream.  (I use yogurt.))

8 (1-cup servings).  Each serving:  206 calories; 753 mg. sodium; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 36 grams carbohydrates; 16 grams protein; 3.23 grams fiber.