- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 med onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1-1/4 cup french green lentils
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
- chopped parsley, cilantro, or celery leaves, for garnish
In a 4-quart saucepan over med-high heat, melt coconut oil. When hot, but not smoking, add the onion and cook until golden brown around the edges and beginning to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add celery, bell pepper, and garlic; cook for about 5 minutes more.
Add the chicken broth, tomatoes with juice, lentils, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes, until lentils are tender.
Insert a stick blender into the pan and blend in short bursts, 2-3 times, not much more; the goal is to puree a little of the soup, but leave some of the lentils whole. This gives the soup extra texture.
If the soup is too thick, add a little extra water 1/4 cup at a time until the soup reaches the desired consistency. Add the balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with cayenne, if desired, and salt and pepper.
Garnish each serving with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley, cilantro, or celery leaves. The soup is also great with crumbled goat cheese on top.
*Sugar-Free / Grain-Free