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Lentil-Vegetable Soup

1-2 stalks celery
3 carrots
1 large onion
3-4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 bay leaves
7-8 cups water
1 Tbsp. Italian herb mix
1 1/2-2 cups green lentils
3 red potatoes (optional)
1 bunch spinach (optional)
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

• Chop the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic.
• Heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the vegetables and bay leaves. Cook on medium heat until the vegetables are soft, then add the water, herbs, and lentils. Cook over medium to high heat for 45 minutes, adding more water as needed (2 or more cups will evaporate during cooking).
• Chop the potatoes into small cubes, if using. Add them to the soup and cook until soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the spinach leaves, if using, and cook for about 2 more minutes, just long enough to wilt the leaves.
• Remove from the heat.
• Stir in the red wine vinegar and leave covered until ready to serve.

Makes approximately 8 servings

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