Advocate-tested recipe

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Makes 6 servings. Recipe is by Jackie Tuttle, of Baton Rouge.

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, leaves included, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 bulb fennel, finely sliced

2 teaspoons herbes de Provence

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch dried chili flakes

2 cups dried red or green lentils

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (32 ounces) carton vegetable stock

2 cups water

1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add onion, celery, carrots and fennel, and season mixture with herbes de Provence, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and chili flakes. Sauté mixture until vegetables are soft, 5-7 minutes.

2. Stir in lentils and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock and water.

3. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until beans are tender, about 20-30 minutes, adding more water as necessary. Serve hot.