1 medium onion, chopped 1 large celery stalk, chopped 1 potato (about 6 ounces), scrubbed and diced 1/2 cup red lentils, picked and rinsed 2 bay leaves 4 cups water 1 zucchini (about 7 ounces), diced 1-1/2 - 2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped small 1 - 10 ounce pack frozen spinach, defrosted 1/2 tsp dried basil 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste) 1 tsp ground cumin salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, put the onion, celery, potato and lentils with the water and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.(You need to do this because the soup will later be blended.) The potatoes and and vegetables and lentils will be softish.
Add the zucchini, broccoli, spinach, basil, cayenne, cumin and salt/pepper (if used) and return to the boil, lower heat and simmer covered for another 10 minutes or until the broccoli and spinach are cooked.
In batches, blend the soup in a blender until smooth. Return to the pan, reheat gently and adjust water content if needed (it may have become very thick). Taste for seasoning. Garnish as you please - as you see, I put aside a couple of spoonsful of the cooked veggies before blending so that I could add them to the soup as garnish. Frankly, I don't think it helps much except to advertise (to those who didn't see you make it) what's in the soup :) Accompany with breads of your choice - we chose our stand-by homemade sourdough last evening.