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Faki (Hellenic Lentil Soup)

1 c Lentils
1 md Onion; chopped
2 Garlic cloves; up to 3 chopped
1 Celery stalk; chopped
3 Plum tomatoes, fresh; and juices -OR- 5 -Italian type plum tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
4 Parsley sprigs
Mint, fresh; basil or other favorite herb
1/4 c Olive oil
1 pn -Salt
1 pn -Pepper
3 tb Vinegar
Oregano, dried; for garnish

Wash lentils in a soup pot. Cover with 8 cups of cold water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let stand for an hour. Bring to a boil, and stir in the onion, garlic and celery. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the tomatoes. bay leaf, parsley, your favorite herb and half the oil. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add enough water to make 8 cups. Remove the bay leaf. Season the soup, and add the remaining oil. Taste, and adjust the seasonings. Serve hot with the vinegar and garnished with oregano, rubbed between your palms.


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