From the store to the kitchen to the table: We outline the steps that get you from raw ingredients to your dinner tonight, free of measurements and complicated techniques. It's the most basic way to make the thing you're making—like a fantastic lentil soup.
Rinse the lentils in a colander or strainer.
Finely chop all the vegetables.
Coat the bottom of a pot with oil and heat. Add the vegetables and cook until they're softened. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the thyme (if using), bay leaf, tomatoes and their juices, lentils, and broth and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are soft.
Check to see if the soup needs any additional, broth, salt, or pepper, and finish with a drizzle of vinegar.
Optional: Add spinach and stir until wilted.
If you like, purée half of the soup in a blender and add it back to the pot for a creamier texture.