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Friday, December 10, 2010

Luscious Legumes: Italian Lentil Soup

Unless you're Italian or Indian, you might not be familiar with lentils.  Lentils are a legume, like beans, that are high in protein and in insoluble fiber (the stuff that keeps your tummy happy).  It's hard to mess up a recipe that starts with the French mirepoix: carrots, celery, and onions, and this recipe demonstrates that clearly.  It's very tasty, very healthy, vegetarian, and easy to make.  Try it!

Italian Lentil Soup

1 1/2 T. olive oil
3/4 C. carrots, chopped
3/4 C. celery, chopped
1 1/2 C. onion diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 lb. lentils (usually 1 bag)
10 C. chicken broth (I like Swanson Certified Organic)
2 T. dried thyme
2/3 dried elbow pasta
1 C. shredded Parmesan

In a heavy pot (I use a cast iron dutch oven), heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.  Stir to coat, and season with salt and pepper.  Saute until the vegetables are tender, but still crisp (between 5 and 10 minutes).  Add the can of tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes start to soften and the juices evaporate by about a third.  Rinse the lentils in cold, running water and drain.  Add to the pot and stir.  Once the lentils are incorporated, add in the broth and the thyme.  Simmer on the stove over medium low heat for about half an hour, or until the lentils are tender, but still toothsome.  Add in the pasta and cook for another 8 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.  Remove from the heat and ladle into bowls.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan (and I like a little extra black pepper).  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Me gustan las legumbres en mi sopa. Muy delicioso :-)