Lentils Monastery Style (Diet for a Small Planet)

I’ve been cooking this one for so many years that I have made it my own, so much so that for a long time I was not sure anymore what book I got it out of. But I found it again in my 1980’s paperback edition of “Diet for a Small Planet,” the seminal vegetarian cookbook. It is a bright and happy lentil soup – full of the red from tomatoes and orange from the carrots , which give the whole thing a more golden color. (This, as opposed to the darker, more serious tone of Lentil Soup with Escarole.) ;- )

1 cup dry lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
½ teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoons dried marjoram or oregano
3 cups chicken stock
salt to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 can peeled tomatoes (about 1 pound)
¼ cup dry sherry
grated Swiss cheese for topping

Sort and wash lentils; set aside. Sauté the carrots and onions in the olive oil 3 – 5 min.; add thyme and marjoram, and sauté for 1 min. more. Add stock, parsley, salt, lentils and tomatoes; bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until lentils are tender (45 min.); add the sherry (if desired); then serve, topped with grated Swiss cheese.


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