Healthy and Budget Friendly Lentil Soup
2.5 cups dry lentils
8 cups water
1 small yellow onion
5 cloves garlic
1 can (14.5 oz) of diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp salt
2 Bay leaves
Optional: 3 Idaho potatoes
Clean the lentils. You need to spread them out on a flat surface and slowly sort them into a big container, picking out small rocks, sticks, and random legumes as you go. Afterwards wash them in a colander with cold water. The lentils will swell to around four cups as they absorb some water but this is fine.
Mince the onion and garlic and sautee with olive oil in a big stock pot for two to three minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent.
Add the tomatoes and sautee for two more minutes to release the flavor off the tomatoes. I personaly use "basil, garlic, and oregano" tomatoes but any diced tomatoes will do.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until done. You will know that they are done when the individual lentils begin to break apart.
If you'd like to add potatoes you may do so at this point. Peel, cube and fast boil 3 Idaho potatoes until they are soft but DO NOT over boil them to the point that they begin to fall apart. Add to the lentil soup and simmer for ten more minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve. Enjoy!