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Potage Esau

1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 leek, white part onion, chopped
1 medium onion, stuck with four whole cloves
1 to 2 tbsp (15-30ml) butter
12 to 13 ounces (350-375 gr) dried brown lentils
6 cups (1.5 L) chicken stock
Bouquet garni (thyme, parsley and bay leaf in cheesecloth bag)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2 to 5 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (1 to 2 ml) ground cardamom
Fresh lemon juice
chopped fresh parsley

Prepare vegetables, heat butter and saute the vegetables until
soft. Rinse lentils in cold, running water and add to pan with
stock and bouquet garni. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer very
slowly, covered, until lentils soften and split, about 30 minutes.
Discard onion and bouquet garni. Puree soup in food processor or
blender. Return to pan. If necessary, dilute with more stock to
desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, cardamom and lemon
juice to taste. Heat and serve, topped with parsley.

8 to 10 servings.

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