Now that we have the stock down, let's do something with it. This is a really easy soup, and like most soups, tastes better the second day.
2 cups prepared lentils, any color. (To cook lentils, rinse them off in a colander, put them in a pot and cover with three inches of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the pot back to the colander and rinse again. Done!)
1 can (or freshly prepared) black beans, rinsed (optional)
2 large carrots, diced
1 large leek, cleaned and sliced, white part only
1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
5 cloves of garlic, either diced, pressed or use a micro planer
1 bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), diced
1 Jalapeño Pepper diced (or a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes) (optional)
1 tsp. dry (or 2 tsp fresh) Thyme
1 tsp. dry (or 2 tsp fresh) Rosemary
1 tsp. dry (or 2 tsp fresh) Oregano
1 cup white wine
1 16 oz can of diced, salt and oil free, tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh, crushed by hand)
Lots of cracked black pepper
Salt if you think you need it
4 cups Roasted Vegetable Stock
Using a really hot nonstick pan in this order (about 1 minute between each follow), sauté the onion, followed by carrots and celery, followed by bell pepper and jalapeño pepper. Add the garlic and cooking wine and herbs. The wine should help to deglaze the pan. The brown bits on the pan add the most amount of flavor, so make sure, using a wooden spoon since this is nonstick, and scrape up the bits. Once the wine is almost evaporated, transfer everything into your soup pot. Add the lentils, beans, tomatoes, Braggs Liquid Aminos, Roasted Vegetable Stock and Cracked Black Pepper. Cover everything and cook for about 30 minutes. Taste for Salt.
For the Crusty Garlic Avocado Bread
Slice the Crusty Bread in thick slices (in the picture it's homemade sourdough oat wheat bread)
Toast the bread
Cut a whole clove of garlic in half the long way. Rub the cut side all over the toasted bread.
Spread some ripe avocado on the bread. On the avocado in the picture, I have seasoned nutritional yeast sprinkled on.