1 whole head garlic

1 whole head garlic

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large Spanish onion, peeled and chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound French lentils, rinsed and picked over to remove debris (may substitute any type of lentil)

8 cups vegetable stock

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and diced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped, fresh Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 300 F. Rub off most but not all of the garlic's outer, papery skins. Using a serrated knife, cut off top half inch from bulb. Place garlic in a shallow baking pan and drizzle with the olive oil. Add 2 tablespoons water to bottom of pan, cover with aluminum foil and roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Remove aluminum foil from pan and roast for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until cloves are pliable and slightly browned. Remove garlic from oven. When cool enough to handle, remove cloves from skin and puree in a food processor or blender; reserve until ready to use.

Meanwhile, in a large stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery and carrots and sweat until tender, for about 4 minutes. Add the rosemary, bay leaves, salt and pepper and stir to coat vegetables.

Add the lentils, vegetable stock, tomatoes and tomato paste. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until lentils are tender.

Stir in pureed roasted garlic, the vinegar and fresh garlic. Simmer for 2 minutes to heat through.

To serve, remove bay leaves, ladle soup into bowls and top with the chopped parsley.

Makes about 12 cups.

— Recipe from "The Daily Soup," by Leslie Kaul, Bob Spiegel, Carla Ruben and Peter Siegel