Vegetable Lentil Soup with Poached Egg

When traveling to other countries it always surprises me how different the breakfast is from our standard American fare: grilled vegetables, baked beans, stir fry and soups are common breakfast foods.   Why not try something different?

Ingredients:

-1 cup dried lentils, rinsed (~1/3 of a 1 lb bag)
-1 cup chopped celery (~2 stalks, ¼ of a bunch)
-1 cup chopped carrots (~2,  ¼ of a 1 lb. bag)
-1 medium Spanish onion, chopped (~1 cup)
-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
-1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
-4 tablespoons of tomato paste (~1/2 a 6 oz can)
-1 – 32 oz container of chicken stock
-1 ¼ cup water
-½ teaspoon each of dried basil and dried oregano
-¼ teaspoon dried thyme
-1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
-pepper to taste
-1 – 6 oz bag shredded parmesan cheese (1 ½ cups, optional)

12 Poached Eggs

Directions:

1.    Put everything but the vinegar, parmesan cheese and eggs in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Before serving, splash in 1 to 2 tablespoon of vinegar and sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.

2.    Place water in a shallow pan and bring water almost to a boil. One at a time, crack an egg into a small bowl then gently pour into water.

3.    After 4 minutes when the whites are cooked, remove eggs with a slotted spoon.

4.    Serve warm soup with poached egg on top!

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