Hearty Lentil Soup

We live in a cowboy culture that simply adores meat. What can you do? Change your thinking, that’s what. One way is to provide hearty, healthy foods that give the same satisfaction as meat without the impact of meat on our health and the planet.
Makes 4-5 servings
Ingredient List: 
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled, crushed, minced
½ red onion, diced
Sea salt
Generous pinch crushed red chili flakes (optional)
2 links vegan sausage, diced 
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed well
4 cups spring or filtered water
2-3 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed, shredded
Step By Step Instructions: 
Place a small amount of oil, garlic and onion in a soup pot over medium heat. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a spare pinch of salt and chili flakes (if using) and sauté until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in ‘sausage’ and cook, stirring until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in celery and sauté until shiny with oil. Stir in carrot and sauté until shiny with oil. Stir in cherry tomatoes and lentils. Add water, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook until lentils are soft, about 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt; remove bay leaf and simmer for 2-3 minutes more. Serve garnished with basil.