1 lb. lentils
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8 -inch-thick slices
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
2 tbsp. tomato paste
8 c. cold water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. red-wine vinegar
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
Spread lentils evenly on a cookie sheet. Pick out any small stones or other foreign objects.
Place lentils in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
Heat oil in a large kettle over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots and saute for 5 minutes.
Add lentils, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, oregano, tomato paste, and 8 c. cold water, or enough to cover. Bring to a boil.
Cover kettle and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. (You may need to add more water if soup becomes too thick.)
Add salt and vinegar to lentil mixture and stir well. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more, or until lentils are cooked
Stir in parsley and serve in individual soup bowls.