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Recipe for lentil soup

Serves 8

Total cost: If you buy the lentils in bulk or find them on sale (and get tomatoes from your mother’s garden), the price of these ingredients can be as low as $3. A more realistic cost is $5.70, which makes one bowl of soup about 70 cents.

3tablespoons vegetable oil
2medium onions, chopped
2carrots, chopped
2stalks celery, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
4cloves garlic
1teaspoon ground cumin
1teaspoon dried oregano
2large russet potatoes, coarsely chopped
8cups vegetable or chicken stock
2fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped or 1 can (16 ounces) tomatoes
2cups brown lentils
½pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add the onions, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes.

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2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

3. Stir in the cumin and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

4. Add the potatoes, stock, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add the lentils and let the soup return to a boil. Lower the heat and partially cover the pan. Let the soup simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

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5. Add the green beans and simmer 5 minutes more or until lentils are tender. Total simmering time is 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Anna Marden

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