I tried several recipes and finally "landed" on this one that - while very basic - combines what I liked from four or five others. This is a hit with the entire family! My vegetarians and even my meat-eaters love it and it is easy, inexpensive, and never goes to waste!!! This one is often requested by the kids & the in-laws!
Start with the black beans - soak them according to the instructions on the bag. I enjoy the manual prep-work of the trinity, so by the time I'm ready for the beans, they've had more than enough time to soak!
2THE TRINITY: Celery, Onion, Carrots
My daughter does not like celery and I'm not so crazy about onion, so I dice those very small so neither of us can tell the difference while we are eating! So, chop them to your preferred sizes! As for the carrots, if you want a "cheat", buy the bag of julienned carrots in the produce section, rinse & go!
3In your large stock pot or dutch oven, saute' the celery, onion, and carrots in oil, over medium heat, until onions are clear.
4Add cumin, parsley, chives. (You'll notice I do not add salt/pepper while cooking. We add this at the table as desired.)
5Add broth & water. Bring to boil.
6Add lentils & black beans.
7Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer all day, stirring occasionally.
8An hour or so before serving, cook the rice, separately, according to instructions. When tender, add to soup. (I do this to preserve the soup broth & ensure my rice is tender enough!)
9Allow to soup to cook/simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Serve with cornbread, toast or crackers. I have one child who eats it (& everything else) with sour cream, one who eats it with shredded cheese, and another who eats it with salsa! My husband likes a little bit of spice, so he adds jalapeno peppers - to avoid adding salt!
Typically, I do not like left-overs; however, THIS IS GREAT the next day!!! If it is too thick, add more broth & heat over medium for 20 or so minutes and you're set! Delicious!