Ingredients 1 medium yellow onion
2 large carrots
2 celery ribs
4 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
1 ½ cups brown or green lentils
28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or highest quality canned tomatoes)*
1 quart vegetable broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups baby spinach (or chopped standard spinach, kale or chard)
For the garnish: Parmesan cheese (recommended)
Instructions Finely dice the onion. Peel and finely chop the carrots. Chop the celery into small pieces. Mince the garlic.
In a large pot, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook 3 to 4 minutes until just translucent. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, fennel seeds, and lentils and stir 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, vegetable broth, and kosher salt.
Bring to a simmer. Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the lentils are tender. Stir in the spinach in the last minute or so and cook until it wilts (if using kale or chard, add it in the last 5 minutes).
Remove from the heat. Taste and season with additional salt and fresh ground pepper as necessary. For best flavor, garnish with Parmesan cheese. Stores refrigerated for up to 4 days and frozen for 3 to 4 months.