This is a recipe that Paul sent several months ago. The beauty of this recipe is that not only is it a complete one pot vegetarian meal but it lends itself very well to all sorts of substitutions and additions.
It is now May 10, 2011. I've just changed (added to) the ingredients because the following was my best batch.
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 c. vegetarian stock
1 c. water (or chicken stock if you wish)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups spinach (or kale), torn or chopped
3/4 cup red or brown lentils
1/2 cup brown rice (or long grain white)
parsley & basil or cilantro or a mix of all 3
3 - 4 T. olive oil
1/2 - 1t. salt
Put the onions, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, and salt (lesser amount depending on the broth you plan to use) in a pot with 4 T. olive oil over medium heat. (If you're using any chicken stock, you could cut the oil to 3 T.) After about 10 minutes, toss in the spinach and/or kale. After a couple more minutes, add the lentils, garlic, tomato paste, and rice. Cook 3 -5 minutes more. Pour in your stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 40 minutes (for white rice) to 50 minutes (for brown). During the last 10 minutes adjust the salt and add pepper, and 1/2 c. or so of herbs. I serve mine (Paul does) with cheese breads with romano and parmigiano. This soup was very easy, cheap, and low mess factor. Of course the quality of ingredients always matters, but this soup was quite tasty, and even passed the pregnant wife test, a high standard by any means.