Italians eat lentils for New Year’s as they are supposed to be good luck. This easy recipe makes enough that you can freeze the leftovers and save them for another day. I have tried many recipes but this is my absolute favorite!
If you have never used an immersion blender – they are fantastic. I use mine for making soup and pasta sauce. We even purchased one in Italy so it already has the correct electric plug; I use it that much!
Lentil Soup: Easy & Delicious!Course: Appetizer, Main CourseCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
You could soak the lentils just for several hours but I like to do them overnight.
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 of 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
TOMATO SAUCE PART
(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
- Put lentils in a large bowl, cover with water, and soak for several hours or overnight; drain and rinse. Discard any that are floating.
- Saute celery, carrots, onion, and garlic in a little olive oil until soft.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the “Lentil part” of the soup. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes; stirring a few times during the cooking.
- While lentils are cooking, prepare the “Tomato sauce” part of the recipe. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat oil, and garlic, and then stir in tomatoes and season. Simmer uncovered, 15-20 minutes.
- Remove all the bay leaves and discard.
- Transfer half of the lentils to a food processor or use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. Return to the other portion. This way the soup has some texture but is not all chunky. Sometimes I puree a little bit more than half the amount.
- Add tomato sauce to the lentil batch and cook another 15 minutes.
- Serve with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan and a drizzle of good olive oil if you wish.
- An immersion blender make this so easy to blend.