2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
pepper to taste
3-3/4 cup water
3-3/4 cup vegetable broth (or 35 broth cubes from freezing in ice cube trays)
16 oz can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup stewed tomato juice (from the can of tomatoes)
2 bay leaves
2 cup dry red lentils
5 oz frozen spinach or 1/2 lb fresh spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Source of Recipe: vegetron
Cook the potatoes a little over half way before chopping. (I microwave them on high for about 5 minutes, but you can also bake them for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees.)
In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery. Saute until onion is tender. Stir in potatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, and pepper. Cook for 1-2 more minutes.
Stir in water, broth, tomatoes, tomato juice, and bay leaves. (The liquid added should total 8 cups.) Bring to a boil. Add lentils and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for at least 1 hour.
Cook frozen spinach separately, by the package directions, or skip this step if using fresh spinach. Add the spinach and vinegar to the soup in the last 5 minutes of simmering.
Serve with garlic bread, cornbread, rice, or crackers.