Before mom starts showering us with peppers and tomatoes and eggplant I continue to feast on spring greens and carrots and interesting looking onions! For this quick Meal in a Bowl I combine them with tiny red lentils, which are nutritious and not too expensive. And there are plenty of leftovers for a college girl like me to eat, because I am wiped out from finals and projects!

If you are a fan of regular brown-type lentils you will love this recipe because the red lentils (which are really more orange…) cook in about 5 minutes and are to me much more delicious. If you are not usually a fan of lentils, be happy because this soup tastes pretty much nothing like the lentil soup you have probably had before!

And because the garden is in transition after all, finish the whole bowl off with a big dollop of fresh basil pesto! (Which I admit my mom made…) And well probably some garlic bread on the side…

Gather Up:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, any variety
4 medium carrots
1 teaspoon cumin
1 14 1/2 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 ¼ cup dried red lentils
Dash freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 bunch fresh chard or spinach
½ cup fresh basil pesto, if available

Clean, de-stem and slice the chard into short fat ribbons. Wash and chop carrots. Slice and dice the onion of your choice.

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the carrot and onion and sauté 6 to 8 minutes until tender and beginning to brown. Stir in the cumin and cook stirring for about one minute.

Add the tomatoes and juice, the broth, the water, the lentils and the salt and pepper. Stir together.

Increase heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover. Let cook for about 3 minutes.

Add chard. (If using spinach wait until the lentils are done to add.)

Cover pot and cook another 2 to 3 minutes until lentils and chard are done.

Remove from heat and taste for seasoning.