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In the spirit of Meatless Monday, I pulled together a healthy, vegetarian (actually, this one will satisfy those who prefer vegan, too) soup for dinner. A simple soup of lentils simmered with black beans, onions, garlic and flavored with smoked paprika is just what the diet doctor ordered during the holiday season. My jeans concur.
Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan set over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 6 to 7 minutes.
Add garlic, smoked paprika and bay leaves and saute for 30 seconds.
Stir in diced tomatoes with juices, lentils, 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth and the water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 25 to 35 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Transfer half of the lentil mixture, half of the black beans and 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Pulse until combined, but not pureed. It should be a chunky texture.
Pour the blender mixture back into the lentils in the saucepan, along with the remaining 1 cup of chicken broth and remaining black beans. Stir and reheat over medium heat. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.