There’s an earthiness about Lentils I crave during the colder months. They are perfect for soups and stews during the winter.
It’s a tradition in Italy to eat lentils on New Year’s Eve or Day for good luck and prosperity. I love this lentil soup on after a long night of festivities.
For a meaty option of this soup simply add sliced sausage, bacon or ham hock to the mix. I personally like to add a dollop of goat cheese and fresh diced tomatoes with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar as a finishing touch.
Lentils may have tiny stones or dirt mixed in. Before you begin to cook with them spread the lentils out on a kitchen towel and sort through them to remove any tiny stones or dirt.
Next, place the sorted lentils into a colander or bowl and rinse well with cool water to remove any fine particles. Now you are ready to cook with them.
- 3 tbsp of Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 cups of chopped White Onion
- 1 1/2 cups of chopped Carrot
- 1 Stalk of Celery finely sliced
- 1 Clove of Garlic
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 8 cups of Vegetable Broth
- 1 1/2 cups of Lentils (sorted and rinsed)
- 4 Roma Tomatoes Diced
- 1 log of Goat Cheese
- 3 to 4 tbsp of Chopped Italian Parsley (a little reserved for color)
- Salt and Pepper to your taste
- 5 links of sliced cooked sausage or 1 round of ham cubed or 5 Slices of cooked bacon
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar to drizzle over goat cheese
- Carefully pick over the lentils and rinse them.
- In a large heavy saucepan heat the oil then stir in the onions, and cook until soft.
- Add the celery and carrot and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils coating them with the mixture in the pan.
- Add the vegetable stock, garlic clove, bay leaf and 3 tbsp of chopped parsley.
- Season with salt and pepper and let simmer over moderate heat for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes take out the bay leaf and garlic clove.
- Serve with a dab of goat cheese and diced tomatoes.
- Add the meat after the carrots if you decide to make a meaty version of this soup.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the goat cheese.