Emergency Tomato-Lentil Soup

When we had our first apartment, my spouse and I invited my parents to come over for dinner. I had intended to make something special, but I completely forgot. So there we were, not much more than an hour away from their arrival, and a kitchen full of random ingredients. You’ll notice we were using two pots – one to cook the lentils, and one to steam the vegetables.

“To save time,” I said, “you get the lentils going while I deal with the vegetables!”

It was good, and really did up the culinary level of our meal from “just like any other day” to “special”.

5 ounces dried lentils
1 ½ cups water
4 celery-heart stalks
2 cloves garlic
1 chili pepper
20 ounces canned peeled tomatoes
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
a dash of red pepper

grated Romano cheese to taste

Sort and wash lentils. Cook in water until soft. While lentils are cooking, chop up celery and chili pepper, then crush the garlic. Place ½ cup water and a steamer basket into a pot. Steam the vegetables until tender. When everything is cooked, purée all in blender or food processor. Return to pot, add all other ingredients, heat and serve.


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