- 3/4 cup brown lentils
- 1/2 cup green split peas
- 1/2 cup yellow lentils
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 shallots diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 2 cups carrots diced
- 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 6–9 cups water or low sodium vegetable broth*
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 3–4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over low heat. Add shallots and garlic; stir to coat and let cook until the shallots become tender and translucent and garlic becomes fragrant. Add in carrots, celery, and salt. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, until vegetables become soft.
- Add lentils and stir to incorporate into vegetable mixture. Stir in cumin, pepper, chili powder, and lemon juice**. Slowly add 4 cups of broth and bring to a simmer. Add in thyme. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. Remove lid and stir in 2 more cups of broth. Stir in balsamic vinegar, cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add more liquid as necessary.
- When the lentils become fork tender remove from heat and stir in parsley. Stir in spinach and serve hot, garnishing with shaved parmesan or manchego cheese, if desired.
*I ended up using all 9 cups of liquid. You may need less or more depending on how long you cook the soup and how well your pot is able to retain heat.
**the lemon juice will provide enough liquid to deglaze the pan and scrape off bits of vegetables that may have gotten stuck to the pot.