Lentil Soup


1 pound dried lentils
1/2 cup each of carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, parsley - chopped small
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup flour
2-3 quarts vegetable stock OR 2-3 quarts chicken stock
1 teaspoon each of dried thyme, basil, and oregano
3 cloves garlic, chopped small
salt and pepper to taste


Soak lentils in cold water and in the refrigerator for no more than 4 hours. Drain and rinse 2-3 times with cold water. Heat large stock pot. Add olive oil and all small chopped vegetables (mirapoix) and sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Add dried herbs and garlic and sauté another 2 minutes. Add flour and coat vegetable mixture with it. Cook on low flame for 3-5 minutes without burning flour on bottom of pot. Stir and scrape pot constantly. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Add beans, lower flame once again and cook beans for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook an additional 15-20 minutes. Once soup has cooled you can puree it to make a smooth bisque or while soup is still warm you can leave the soup chunky and add cooked poultry, sausage or ham to make it really hearty. Serve with salad and bread for a full meal.
Serves 6-8