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Lentil Soup

1 1/2 c Lentils
9 c Water
3 Cloves garlic; crushed
1 lg Carrot; cut small
1 md Onion; finely diced
1/4 bn Celery; finely diced
1/2 ts Black pepper; ground
1/4 tb Basil
1/4 tb Oregano
1/4 tb Thyme
2 Bay leaves; whole
1/4 bn Parsley; finely chopped
28 oz Tomatoes; diced in juice, OR pureed tomatoes
1 ts Salt; (or to taste)

Rinse lentils. Place all ingredients in a heavy kettle and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for at least an hour. Add more water if necessary.

Note: This soup (as with all legume soups) is best made a day or two before serving. For variety add cooked white or wild rice. If you don't care about this soup being a vegetarian offering, add knockwurst, kielbasa or ham. Makes 10 to 12 cups.

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