Simple pantry ingredients thoughtfully flavored come together in this hearty soup inspired by Zuppe: Soups from the American Academy in Rome
1 1/2 cups dry lentils
2 lbs carrots, divided
1/4 cup vermouth or 2 T cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pinch paprika
1 t fennel seeds
red pepper flakes, optional
1 t lemon juice
Cook lentils in 6 cups water for 6 hours on low in slow cooker. Lentils should hold their shape but not be crunchy.
After lentils are cooked, prepare carrots. Peel them all, then cut half into large coins. Microwave cut carrots in vermouth and 1 cup water until tender; puree. Grate remaining carrots and reserve.
Saute onion and grated carrot in olive oil in a skillet until onion is translucent. Add garlic, paprika, and fennel seeds and cook one minute more.
Stir pureed carrots and onion mixture into lentils. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Cook on high for 15 minutes, then add lemon juice just prior to serving.