1 navel orange
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium onions, sliced lengthwise
4 medium carrots
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (28 ounces) peeled and crushed tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
fresh parsley, chopped, to taste
1. Cut the rind off the orange in 1 long strip. Scrape off all of the excess pith from the back and set rind aside. Squeeze the juice from the orange and reserve.
2. Place the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over low heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, broth, reserved orange peel and juice, and the lentils. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove the orange peel and discard. Adjust seasonings and stir in the parsley.
Serve hot with warm crusty bread. This soup is a beautiful orange color and has a hint of a citrus taste. It is perfect in the fall around Halloween, or anytime!