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.: 9.07.2009 

Zabet's Cheap Eats #9

Not-Quite-Minestrone Potage



This is another "cleaning out the pantry" dish. It's a light tomato soup that is good for sipping out of a mug (say, at the office for a working lunch) or as a compliment to a heavy grilled cheese sandwich. The lentils give it the taste and mouth-feel of a hearty minestrone without making you want to take a nap after eating.

Ingredients
1 28oz. can of Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes (garlic, basil, oregano; $1.99)
1/2 cup dry lentils du Puy (aka French lentils; $0.50)
1 tsp. Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian Chicken
2 onions, finely chopped ($0.88)
pinch of thyme
8 black peppercorns, freshly ground (about 3/4 tsp.)
salt to taste
6 cups water

Directions
Pick over lentils for anything yucky and rinse until the water runs clear. Combine all ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer until lentils are soft and broth is reduced down as far as you'd like. Go nuts with an immersion blender. Voila.

If you have more lentils (I was trying to use up the little bit I had leftover), feel free to add them without worrying about adjusting the amount of water added, and you'll have a much heartier soup. This recipe is also a good base for adding just about any veggies you like for heartier soup.

Makes a heck of a lot.*
Total for the whole shebang: $3.37

Note: I got 2+ quarts, but I'm just storing it in quart mason jars because I recently bought some and had jars to spare, not actually canning or preserving it.

Sept 7 addition: I just used this soup as the liquid in making some couscous and it is FAB.

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