A hearty soup that makes a great vegetarian main course.
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 2 carrots
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, ground to a paste in a mortar and pestle
- 2 zucchini, quartered and chopped
- 28 ounces plum tomatoes
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese for garnish, optional
- Extra virgin olive oil for garnish, optional
Place 1 garlic clove, lentils, bay leaf, and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain lentils and set aside.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add celery, carrots, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add mashed garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, and lentils. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add vegetable broth and parsley. Simmer soup until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish eat bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of grated Gruyère cheese.