- Heat ⅓ cup olive oil in a heavy large stockpot over medium-high heat, add the minced onions, and sauté until lightly golden brown. Salt to taste.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the carrots, celery, garlic, and bay leaf. Lightly cook until the vegetables begin to soften. The bay leaf will become aromatic, flavoring the vegetable mixture.
- Once the vegetable mixture is ready, stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the plum tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon in the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes to create a flavorful base for the soup.
- Add the rinsed and drained lentils to the base, stirring to coat the lentils. Add 6 cups water, stir, and bring to a boil. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and continue to simmer for 1 hour or until the lentils are tender but not falling apart.
- While the soup simmers, prepare the bread cubes. Line a large plate with paper towels and gently heat the second ⅓ cup of olive oil on low in a large skillet along with the clove of garlic. Allow the garlic to remain in the warm oil on low for about 3 minutes, then remove the garlic clove.
- Adjust heat to medium and carefully add the bread cubes. Allow them to brown on one side before turning. Once the bread cubes are uniformly browned, remove to the paper towel-lined plate to cool.
- To serve, ladle the hot soup into individual bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley, toasted bread cubes, and a drizzle of olive oil or some grated Parmigiano.
Learn even more healthy eating hacks by chatting with a MOBE Guide. To find out if you’re eligible, check your status, or call 844-841-9725. Ready to take the first step? Schedule a call online or download the MOBE Health Guide app.