This is a simple, staple soup to keep on rotation in the cooler months. I load it up with crushed red pepper to give it a nice spice, but if you’re sensitive to that, omit the red pepper. A heavy dose of olive oil makes for an unctuous soup that is really satisfying and homey.
The basil oil on top is such a fantastic way to brighten up the flavors of this warming soup.
¼ cup olive oil
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large leek, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
4 small waxy potatoes, diced
1 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery, leek, carrots, fennel, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper and sauté until softened and the onions begin to caramelize. Add the potatoes, lentils, stock and water. Bring the soup to a simmer.
Lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook for 45-60 minutes until the lentils are tender and the potatoes are cooked through.
Serve piping hot with a drizzle of basil oil on top.