Meatless Monday: Lentil Soup

When DearDR and I started dating, he was quite the independent guy. He had his own place, he did his own laundry, cooked his own meals, etc. (I could point out that he lived in the top floor apartment in his uncle’s house, not very far from where he grew up, and that, in addition to allegedly working on his Ph.D., he worked in his family’s restaurant. But that is incidental to the point.)

He was not put off by the fact that I was a vegetarian; his sister had been one since she was a teenager, so it was a lifestyle with which he was familiar.

A few weeks into our relationship, we went with a bunch of my friends to Cook Forest. We all slept in the same cabin, and everyone brought food, and we sat around a campfire and drank a lot. (This annual tradition continues to this day; we missed last year because of Bun’s arrival.)

DearDR brought lentil soup. It was from a recipe he had written down on an index card. Could be something his sister gave to him; could have been copied out of a magazine or cookbook.

After our marriage, I adapted it. When DearDR tried it, he said, “You make my lentil soup better than me.” I’m pretty proud of that.

RPM’s Lentil Soup

Four cloves garlic, chopped
Four celery stalks, chopped
Four carrots, sliced
Olive oil
One bag (approximately three cups) of brown lentils
Four cups vegetable stock
Three cups water
Ground pepper

1. (You know the drill:) In a large soup pot, saute the garlic in oil. Add celery and carrots; cover and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Rinse and sort through lentils. Add to garlic, celery and carrots. Stir to coat in oil.
3. Add vegetable stock and water. Add pepper to taste.
4. Cook for four to five hours; if needed, add more liquid.

Serve with crusty bread and butter, and salad. Sprinkle soup with parmesean cheese. I don’t add salt because I don’t want it to be too salty for people; if someone wants salt, he or she can add it.