Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

For the Lentils:

  • 2 cups dried lentils, rinsed (1lb. bag)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 smoked ham shank, cut into pieces or several slices of pancetta or bacon cooked and cut into pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery (leafy tops too if have), cut into small pieces
  • 3 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 dried bay leaves

For Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 – 28oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped well
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put lentils in a large bowl, cover with water and soak for several hours or overnight; drain and rinse. Discard any that are floating.
  2. Saute celery, carrots, onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft.
  3. Add rest of ingredients for “Lentil portion” of soup. Cover and simmer about 45 minutes; stirring a few times during the cooking.
  4. While lentils are cooking, prepare the tomato sauce. In a medium size saucepan, heat oil and garlic and then stir in tomatoes and season. Simmer uncovered, 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove all the bay leaves and discard
  6. Transfer half of the lentils to a food processor or use a hand blender and puree until smooth. Return to other portion. This way the soup has some texture but not all chunky. Sometimes I puree a little bit more than half the amount.
  7. Add tomato sauce to lentil batch and cook another 15 minutes.
  8. Serve with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan and a few drops of good olive oil if you wish.
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