Everyone who tastes this soup describes it as - 'FABULOUS'! I wish I could take credit for its creation, but it comes from renowned vegetarian cooking instructor and author, Robin Robertson. I have a few of her wonderful cookbooks, and can attest to the health, wonderful taste and heartiness of her recipes. I've made a couple changes to this original recipe - having deleted the olive oil and parsley. (For those who question the WHY of omitting the oil......Oil is fat, no matter what the producers of this slithery concoction tell you. Each T of olive oil contains 120 calories. That adds up pretty quickly, and you know where it will go - directly from your lips to hips - and worse - your arteries!

1/4 cup water or veggie broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/3 cup minced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
6 cups vegetable broth or water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt (optional)
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch of Swiss chard (leaves destemmed) (about 6 cups)

Heat the water or veggie broth in large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes till softened. Add more water or broth as needed so veggies don't burn. Then add the potatoes, lentils, veggie broth or water, bay leaves, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender - about 30-40 minutes. You can add more water if the soup becomes too thick. Remove the bay leaves when done.

While soup is cooking, cook the chard in a large pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain the chard, rinse under cold water to cool, and then coarsely chop. Stir the Swiss chard into the soup and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and if it needs a little salt, add about 1/2 - 1 tsp iodized sea salt.

Serves 6-8.

Note:  To make the recipe come together even faster (and it is so easy and quick), I add the chopped Swiss chard directly in the soup. No chopping and steaming beforehand.