The lentils make it earthy, the pistou (pesto) makes it sexy. Here is a soup perfect for a light lunch served with salad, a first course when entertaining, or a late night dinner served along side a mushroom omelette. This is a rare soup that I prefer to make in the crock pot. If you have time to let a stock pot simmer for a few hours with you in attendance, even better.
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
2 heaping Tbs. pesto (homemade or store-bought)
1 sweet, bell pepper, diced
1 cup sliced baby portobello mushrooms
3 diced tomatoes (fresh is better but can substitute 8 oz canned)
1 cup dry lentils (green, brown or black are all fine)
6 cups water (or vegetable broth)
Combine all ingredients in the crock pot and set to high for 2 hours. Then set to warm for 4 more. When serving, drizzle additional pesto on the top of each piping bowl as well as parmesan cheese.