Tomato Lentil Soup with Italian Rice and Spinach

Love, love lentils! 

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Tomato Lentil Soup with Arborio Rice and Spinach

Here is a luscious lentil soup that is filling and satisfying.  A few slices of bacon (optional) adds a smokey flavor.  This is high in fiber and nutrients.  If you have homemade stock (poultry or vegetable) and use low-sodium tomatoes, you will get the added bonus of low-sodium.  The Arborio rice thickens it nicely, and the fresh spinach added at the end adds a nice green touch.  Buen provecho!

Saute:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 slices bacon, minced (optional)
  • 2 onions, chopped fine

Add and simmer for 30 minutes:

  • 2 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups lentils (brown, green or black)
  • 4 cups stock (poultry, beef, vegetable) or water
  • 2 cups water

Add and simmer for 30 minutes:

  •  2 carrots, diced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes or sauce, low-salt if available
  • 1/2  cup Arborio rice
  • 4 cups water (add more as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 ½  teaspoons regular salt)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Turn off heat and add:

  • 1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach (plus, I used an additional 10-ounce box of frozen spinach to clean out the freezer)

Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Garnish with:
    • Sour cream, yogurt, cheese, olive oil, pesto, red pepper, green onions,  and/or lemon juice.
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