Food & dining
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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.

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

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

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    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.

    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