Even my picky kids eat this soup. We LOVE it! I didn't know to boil the lentils and rinse them before making them into soup before making this recipe, so THANKS for the tip that has improved some of my other favorite recipes.
We add broth instead of water. (I like Better Than Bouillon's veggie base, but chicken does well, too.) When serving, I salt and pepper the top and load it up with red wine vinegar. In a bind I've used any tomato product to sub for the tomato paste, including tomato soup and tomato sauce.
P.S. Don't be shy about the olive oil. Olive oil is one of the healthiest thing around. In some health food stores and restaurants, you can order a shot of it to chug down. It lubricates your insides and promotes healthy digestion, not to mention a multitude of other benefits. Good fat is good for your body and a necessary element for good health.
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Even my picky kids eat this soup. We LOVE it! I didn't know to boil the lentils and rinse...