1 cup red lentils (use a strain to rinse)
2 tablespoons grape seed or sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped, pressed, or minced
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder (as mild or spicy as you like)
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1 parsnip peeled and chopped
1 celery stick
5-6 cups water
Parsley, grated Parmesan (optional)
1) In a soup pot, heat the oil then add garlic and onion and cook until golden/ translucent.
2) Add tomato paste and all spices, stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
3) Add water, lentils, parsnip and carrot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then let is simmer on low heat. Partially cover the pot and cook until the lentils are soft about 25 minutes, add chopped celery and cook for another 10 min.
4) Add chopped parsley, then serve with grated Parmesan if you wish.