Lentil Stew

1 tbsp olive oil                   
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced               
1 medium celery stalk, diced
1 1/2 cups sliced portobello mushrooms   
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
7-8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth       
1 bay leaf (optional)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary               
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil                    
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 medium garlic cloves, minced           
4 cups packed baby spinach leaves
2 small red bliss potatoes
Celtic sea salt to taste

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil and sauté onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and potatoes for about 5 minutes.  Blend mushrooms with 1/4 cup vegetable broth and puree until smooth.  Add to pot.  Stir in lentils and 7 cups broth, bay leaf, and spices.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove bay leaf.  Purée half the mixture in a blender and return to pot.  Add spinach and stir until wilted.  Add remaining cup of stock if desired.  Season with Celtic salt and pepper. 

Note: omit mushroom puree if you prefer a chunkier soup