Lentil and Pistou Soup

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.