Makes 8 cups -- 8 servings

Vegetarian comfort food at its best, this hearty, main course soup is perfect for a family dinner. Make it in advance when you have time, and the flavors will marry as the soup is refrigerated for a day or two. Because the lentils may absorb some of the liquid, add water or vegetable stock when reheating.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons curry powder

6 cups vegetable stock

1 ½ cups dried brown lentils

2 carrots, finely chopped

One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

½ cup Merlot or other or other medium-bodied red wine

¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry powder; stir constantly for 1 minute.

Add the vegetable stock, lentils, and carrots; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes with juice, wine, parsley, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning.