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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1–2 cups onion, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 12 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup red lentils
- fresh thyme, bundle a few sprigs and tie together with kitchen twine or another sprig
- 2–3 large carrots or 1 bag of baby carrots, chopped
- 2 cups green beans, chopped
- 1 small to medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- fresh herbs (i.e. parsley, basil, etc), chopped, to taste
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Note: Try to chop the vegetables about the same size and small enough to fit on a spoon bite.
- Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add onions, bay leaf, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Saute until softened. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add lentils and thyme bundle and simmer about 10 minutes less than the lentil package directions call for.
- Add vegetables and simmer another 10 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf and thyme bundle. Top with freshly chopped herbs. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Serving suggestion: Top with fresh Parmesan cheese and serve with a good loaf of crusty bread.
Freezer Meal Instructions:
Cook soup completely and let cool. Put soup in freezer-safe container or bag. Freezer for up to 3 months.
Thaw soup in refrigerator overnight. You can also warm it from frozen on the stovetop.
*Note, you may need to add some more water or broth because the vegetables will absorb some of the liquid.