The spinach from our garden boxes came in just at the right time. Rather than harvest it and use it little by little, however, since we are moving away, I needed to use it or lose it.
I also had an overload of lentils in the pantry, most of which probably will not end up getting used before moving day. After flipping through cookbooks, I decided on spinach and lentil soup from the Greens cookbook.
Adapted from The Greens Cookbook
1 cup green lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
3 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water
3 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs parsley, chopped
3 medium tomatoes (fresh or canned), peeled, seeded and chopped*, juice reserved
1 lb spinach, any coarse stems removed, washed and roughly chopped
red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar to taste
salt and pepper
Put the lentils and bay leaf in a pot with the vegetable stock, water, and reserved tomato juice. Bring to a boil and scoop off any foam, and then lower the heat to a simmer.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a separate skillet and add the onion. Sauté until the onion begins to soften, a few minutes, and then lower the heat and add the garlic and parsley. Continue to cook until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, and then add the mixture to the cooking lentils.
When the lentils are soft (about 40 minutes), add in the spinach by handfuls. Once it has cooked down, thin the soup, if necessary, by adding more water, and add salt and pepper to taste. Finish off the soup with a splash of red wine or sherry vinegar, and serve topped with grated parmesan.
* I used about half of a 14.5-oz can of tomatoes.