Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Italian Lentil Soup

It feels like it's been a hunert years since I've blogged about anything I've had going on in the kitchen! We've just been eating a lot of old favorites so I wouldn't have tax my poor heat addled brain. This is one new recipe I tried a few weeks ago though that was really good. Not sure if you'll be up for lentil soup in the summer, but you can always jack up the A/C and pretend it's oooh so chilly out and say to yourself isn't it nice to be curled up with bowl of hot soup! I sent this recipe to my pop after I made it and he said it was a winner in their house too. Serve it up with a nice crusty loaf of whole grain bread and a salad if you wish. It makes a lot of soup so we're actually eating previously-frozen leftovers tonight.

Italian Lentil Soup:
(Adapted from a Giada DeLaurentis recipe)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 28oz can diced tomatoes with the liquid
1 pound lentils, washed and sorted
10 cups low-salt chicken broth or veggie broth(2 and 1/2 cartons)
1 cup of white wine
4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2/3 cup dried elbow pasta (I used spelt elbows that I got from CM)
finely grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the garlic, a pinch of salt (you can adjust to taste after you've gotten the broth in) and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and wine and stir. Add the thyme sprigs and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 40-50 minutes. (original recipe called for 30 minutes, but my lentils were not tender by then)

Stir in the pasta. Simmer until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

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