Basic, Deep-Comfort Lentil Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 carrots, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 cup dry lentils
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable broth or water
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the garlic, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are fragrant and softened, for about 5 minutes.

Pick through lentils and remove any pebbles or odd bits. Pour lentils into saucepan with vegetables. Add the bay leaf and broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until everything has become tender to point of coalescing, about 1 hour.

If a more velvety soup appeals, feel free to puree using an immersion blender. Otherwise, simply season generously with the salt and pepper and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

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