Lentil Stew

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cups chopped onion

1 sliced raw carrot

½ cup diced celery with leaves

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

3 ½ cups broth

1 lb. dry lentils

½ cup uncooked short grain brown rice or if not following a gluten free diet medium pearl barley (contains gluten)

16 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. oregano

1 pkg. Frozen chopped spinach

Sautee onions, celery and garlic in oil for 8 minutes. Add 8 cups water, the broth, lentils and barley. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour or until very tender. Add crushed tomatoes, carrots and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add spinach and stir to separate. Simmer another 5-7 minutes. This recipe freezes well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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