1 tablespoon olive oil*
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon turmeric*
½ teaspoon cumin*
1 tablespoon tomato paste*
1 ½ cups red or French lentils,* picked through and rinsed
Freshly ground salt and pepper*
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth* or water
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, optional
1 tablespoon olive oil for finishing
In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil on medium high heat. Add onions, sauté until translucent, and then add carrots, celery, bay leaf, and garlic. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, tomato paste, salt and pepper, then add lentils and broth or water.
Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover until lentils begin to fall apart, about 20-25 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil before serving. Garnish with parsley or cilantro.
Notes and Variations: The spices can be replaced with garam masala or add your favorite herbs. Top with yogurt, sumac and more olive oil.