Lentils are a great source of protein, iron and other minerals. They have a rich texture and flavor in this hearty dinner soup. I like to serve it with homemade rye bread or whole grain crackers.
- 1 medium bunch of red chard
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced 1/2 inch
- 7 c water
- 2 1/2 c tomato juice
- 1 1/2 c dry brown lentils, sorted, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dry thyme
- 1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Cut stems off chard and roughly chop. Set aside. Chop chard leaves separately in small bits. Set aside.
- In 7 quart or larger pot over low heat, warm the oil.
- Add onion and sauté 8-10 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté another minute.
- Add celery, chard stems, and butternut squash; sauté 5 minutes.
- Add water, tomato juice, lentils, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Partially cover and simmer 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
- Stir in chard leaves, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Allow to stand 5 minutes, or until chard looks cooked, but still vibrantly colored.
- Remove bay leaf and serve hot.