I give you lentil soup: cheap, easy, filling. Perfect for dinner after a hard day’s rhetorical analysis and frolicking though snowdrifts.
The recipe is from one of those terrifically generic cookbooks with lots of pictures. Book packagers come up with these things in Australia and Germany and Singapore, and then sell the co-publishing rights all over the world, which is why you can always buy them on a bargain table at the bookstore or at office tower lobby book fairs for about $5.
Anyway, this book is called The Soup Bible and the recipe is curiously named Garlicky Lentil Soup, even if does call for two measly cloves of garlic. I’ve made it about a thousand times and it’s still good.

I cup red lentils
1 onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 carrot, or a handful of baby carrots, chopped into little chunks
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 bay leaves
sprinkle of dried marjoram or oregano (marjoram is slightly sweeter than oregano)
6 cups of vegetable stock
2 Tbsp wine vinegar
salt and pepper to season

1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, and stir in onions, garlic, carrots, and lentils. I like to add them in that order and stir fry them briefly.

2. Pour in the stock, and add the bay leaves and marjoram/oregano and bring to a boil.

3. When the soup is boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. Stir every once in a while so the lentils don’t stick.

4. After the hour and a half is up, remove the bay leaves, and add the red wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Hint: If you are using stock cubes as I do, don’t add too much salt since they are high in sodium anyway.

Serve with warmed flatbread, rolls, or good old-fashioned crackers.
lentil soup