This recipe is from allrecipes.com, with some changes. I started this around 11am this morning and just transferred it to the crock pot once the lentils were softened. I'm typing it out the way I made it. Even though it's still warm out, the sky is cloudy so I am just pretending that it's fall. :0)
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c olive oil
3-4 carrots, diced
3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried basil
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 c dried lentils, rinsed and drained (I used one cup of brown and one cup of green, for color)
8 c water/vegetable broth (whatever amount of each to reach 8 c)
3/4 c fresh spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced (you could actually put a lot more spinach in this)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Grated parm cheese to garnish
1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and freshly ground black pepper. Saute until onions and vegetables are tender. Add herbs and cook for two more minutes.
2. Stir in lentils, and add tomatoes, and liquid (broth & water). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least one hour (mine took much longer before the lentils were soft).
3. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until it wilts. Stir in lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and more pepper. I like parm cheese as a garnish.This makes a huge pot of soup. Next time, I'll probably make half as much.