Italian Lentil Soup

I think everyone must have their own set of things that make them ridiculously happy. As in, ridiculous to be so happy about things so small and insignificant. My own set of things include clean sheets, a new toothbrush, and leftover soup for lunch. I ladle the soup into the pot, turn the stove on, put Charlie down for his mid-day nap, and then revel in what feels like pure luxury: hot soup for lunch.

This soup in particular has become a staple meal at our table. It barely requires effort, tastes comforting, and begs a second helping. Oh, and it's pretty inexpensive. 

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small yellow Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1 jar or can of Diced Tomatoes (this is the kind I use and love)
  • 3 cans of Lentils (this is the kind I use and love) 
  • 1/2 tsp of Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth, low-sodium
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Recipe Notes
 

Ideally this soup would be served with bread and maybe even with orzo pasta mixed in at the end of the cooking time. I'm eating gluten-free right now, so feel free to compensate by eating extra bread for me. I think that a little Italian sausage would be wonderful in this soup but I've yet to try it.

Directions
 

Heat the olive oil over medium in a large soup pot. Sauté the onion until soft, then add the garlic and the red pepper flakes, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Stir around for a couple of minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, stir and let simmer while you open and rinse your cans of lentils. Add lentils, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, and vegetable broth to pot. Bring to a low boil while uncovered, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 1-2 hours. Towards the end of the cooking time, stir in salt. Serve with parmesan on top of each bowl, and hopefully with a side of bread. Maybe even a glass of wine. And enjoy!