Lentil soup (Zuppa di Lenticchie) – Meatless

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Lentil soup (Zuppa di Lenticchie) – Meatless

Servings 8
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 + tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil plus extra for serving
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced or a bag of baby ones, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound lentils, rinsed twice in a colander under cold water
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 rind of Parmigiano Reggiano Plenty of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, whichever you prefer, and crushed red pepper, if desired, for serving
  • 1 pound of short pasta like elbows, ditalini or shells
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, for serving 

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, carrots, and celery, salt, and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and stir. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano rind and cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Separately, add pasta to a pot of salted boiling water and boil the in the pasta until al dente. Remove the cheese rind then add the pasta to the lentils according to how soupy you desire it.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, drizzle with olive oil, and serve, with or without the crushed red pepper. 

Notes

Luck be a lentil tonight! Also known as “New Year’s Soup,” the magic of lentils, or lenticchie in Italian, is in their round shape thought to resemble Roman coins, therefore symbolizing money and prosperity. Italians traditionally consider eating lentils to bring good luck and fortune to the family for the upcoming year. In Northern Italy, lucky lentils are served on New Year’s Day paired with big, plump, fatty pork sausages native to the region, called cotechino sausages. Our family enjoys the meatless version all year round for a hearty, healthy and simple meal. 
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