I was first introduced to the lentil in college, and it was made into a soup. I learned using the whole celery (leaves and all) they said it adds more depth of flavor. I took that bit of information and ran with it as well as this soup recipe. I have been making this for years and it has always been a winner. It wasn’t until recently when I really started to realize how much nutritional benefit this little bean really has. I found you really don’t need to soak this bean like other dry beans- bonus! because you really don’t have to plan ahead- like washing the bean, soaking for hours. Lentils are generally good to go thirty minutes- but, I like to cook my soup a good portion of an afternoon- just letting it simmer on the stove and let all the flavor mingle well with each other. Its also good source of potassium, iron and protein. It’s very good hot or cold. Hmmm, perhaps I need to start playing around with this bean more and start incorporating it all year – not just in the fall and winter…………….what can I make?