16 ounces lentils
10 cups water, divided use
4 stalks celery (about 2 cups), sliced
3 carrots (about 2 cups), peeled and diced
1 yellow onion (about 2 cups), diced
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 Bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup V8 juice
2-3 tablespoons white vinegar
Rinse the lentils thoroughly. Beans can’t be washed before being packaged because they might turn moldy. This means bags sometimes contain small rocks, or bits of debris. So, making sure to clean with a sieve and plenty of water. Slowly bring the lentils and 8 cups of water to a boil. While the lentils are cooking, chop the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic. Set the chopped veggies aside in a large bowl. Add the Bay leaf and thyme.
Once the lentils have cooked for about 25 minutes, and absorbed most of the water, stir in the olive oil. Add the bowl of veggies and herbs, plus 2 additional cups of water, the salt, and V8 juice. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are fork tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
Serve the soup with a pinch of dried oregano, a drizzle of olive oil, a few crumbles of feta, and Kalamata olives.
If you are planning on freezing half the soup. Allow the soup to cool first. Place in a container and freeze. For best results, remove the soup from the freezer the night before and place in the fridge. Reheat over medium-low heat in a pot on the stove.