Hearty Vegetable Soup

Minestrone Soup

It's getting colder which means... it's soup time! Making soup is one of my favorite things to do. Why you ask? Well, for one, it's incredibly easy and almost impossible to mess up. And two, because soup lasts FOREVER! Well, maybe not forever, but the recipes make huge portions! So whether you're feeding yourself for a week or feeding a family of ten, soup is the perfect thing to serve!

Ingredients:
+1 1/2 cups dry brown lentils, rinsed
+ 1/2 cup orzo (look for whole wheat orzo by checking the ingredients!)
+ 1 yellow onion, diced
+ 5 cloves garlic, minced
+ 3 peeled carrots, diced +
2 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (30 oz. total) - Keep the juice!!
+ 2-3 cups roughly chopped baby spinach
+ 4 cups organic vegetable broth (low sodium is always best!)
+ 4 cups water
+ 2 teaspoons cumin
+ 1-2 teaspoons salt (remember you can always add more salt, but you can't add less!)
+ 1/2 - 1 teaspoon pepper (Helpful Hint: use 1/2 the amount of pepper that you use salt)

Directions:
+ Place 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil at the bottom of the stockpot.
+ Next, take the chopped onion, garlic, carrots and cumin and place in the pot. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables look golden brown.
+ After that, add the vegetable broth, water and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender (this may take 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending.)
+ While the lentils cook, roughly chop 2-3 cups of spinach.
+ Once the lentils are tender, add the dry orzo and the diced tomatoes with their juice. Allow the orzo to cook (about 8 minutes) then add the spinach, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!