One of my favorite soups to eat (let's just say that a soup and a well-made salad is one of my ideal meals!) is lentil soup. It's SO good for you and can really warm a person up on a chilly day or night. So, here's my recipe I use for the soup and muffins.
a few tablespoons of olive oil
2 large onions
1 carrot peeled and diced small
1 celery stalk diced small
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 of a green pepper diced small
8 cups of vegetable (or organic chicken) broth
2 cups dried brown lentils (Try to purchase organic since beans/lentils are HIGH in pesticides...I buy ours in bulk at our health food store for less than Publix.)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1-2 by leaves
1/2 tsp. of cumin
*You can play around with using other spices such as Italian seasoning, thyme as well as sausage or ham if you like. With this being a high protein meal (lentils), you won't need the added meat though, only unless you just like the taste. :) Cuts down on cost.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and pepper until soft (medium heat). Add all other ingridients and cook on low heat for 2 hours, OR if you're in a hurry, cook on a higher heat for 1 hour.