Lentils are the backbone of this vegetable-rich soup, but because you cook them separately and then drain them, the soup stays bright and fresh. Feel free to season this to taste with garlic, fresh parsley, or a shot of wine, to play up the Provencal flavors.
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed
- 5 cups water
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 pound potatoes, chopped
- 1 large onion
- 8 ounces green beans, 1/2-inch pieces
- 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- In a 4 quart saucepan, combine the water and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, then cook for 30 minutes. While the lentils cook, chop all the vegetables. In a separate 4 quart pot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil, then add the carrot, potatoes and onion. Cover the pot and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the green beans, canned tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat.
- When the lentils are tender but not falling apart, carefully drain them, but do not rinse. Add the cooked lentils to the vegetable soup and simmer for five more minutes. Serve with crusty bread or cooked grains on the side.