Lentil Soup for Sharing

1 ½ c French green lentils (sorted, rinsed, drained)**
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
3 stalk celery, chopped fine
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped fine
2 bay leaves
2 qt water or vegetable stock
3 fluid ounces tomato paste
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp salt
½ cup chopped parsley

**These directions are for French green lentils; other varieties will need less time in stockpot.

Heat oil and sauté onion until it begins to soften and color. Add garlic, celery, and carrots and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lentils, water, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until lentils are soft. In a bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, mustard, vinegar, and salt; stir into soup and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in parsley at service. Yield: 2 ½ qts