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Red Lentil and Colorful Vegetable Soup

I have decided to cook my way through this book by Deborah Madison this fall and winter. I've been cooking one soup every Sunday night. The leftovers are ideal for warm lunches during the week, and I've been finding new favorites all the time, like this Red Lentil and Colorful Vegetable Soup, adapted below.

2-4 tablespoons of sunflower seed oil

1 large onion, finely diced

1 long celery rib, peeled and diced

4 carrots, finely diced

1 cup finely diced zucchini

3 tablespoons of minced cilantro stems

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 can of diced tomatoes with their juice

1 cup red lentils, well rinsed

juice of 1 lime

4 scallions, sliced

1. Warm the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, while you dice the celery, carrots, and zucchini, and mince the cilantro stems. Add them to the onion and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt, the turmeric, and the cumin. Cook for another 5 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes, the lentils, and 5 and 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer, until the lentils have softened, 20-30 minutes. Taste for salt and add several grindings of pepper. Season with lime juice to taste, and garnish with scallions.

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