Cooking 101 - Italian Lentil Soup

This recipe is another one I've tweaked a little - deriving from my girl, Denise. I've never been one for lentils, I've never known how to cook them...until I got my hands on this recipe. This soup goes with EVERYTHING - especially a good sandwich. For me, it's one of my ultimate fave comfort foods! I usually ALWAYS have a stash of this in the freezer!

This soup is a double threat - for one thing, lentils are WAY good for you, and another, it's also filled with good veggies and this soup is low-cal. So go ahead and make that turkey, bacon, avocado sandwich smothered in mayo. You can take it.

This recipe is doubled so as to accommodate an entire bag of lentils. Feel free to cut it in half if you don't want to use the whole bag, or if you don't need a freezer full of soup.

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 c. olive oil
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. dried Italian seasoning (or 1 t. each of thyme, oregano & basil)
1 bag dried, green lentils
16 c. broth (or bullion cubes & water)
2 t. salt (I prefer less)
1/2 t. black pepper
Cooked pasta or 1/2 c. uncooked brown rice
Grated Romano cheese for sprinkling on top
Half and half (optional)

In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and saute the carrot, celery, and onion. Cook 3-5 minutes until soft. Add garlic, seasoning, and lentils. Stir;
cook 30 seconds. Add broth, salt & pepper. If using brown rice, add it now. Keep in mind that the rice will absorb liquid. If you like a runnier
soup, cook rice separately or add
more broth.

Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes on low heat until lentils are tender. Add cooked pasta (like macaroni or small shells) separately. If you're planning on freezing some in containers or freezer bags, do not add pasta to the whole soup. Set aside the soup you plan on freezing and then add your pasta.

Top your soup with some fresh grated Romano, Parmesan or Asiago cheese for a kick of flavor. Oh, and to make it even more delish, add a little half and half - about 1/2 c. to the soup and it will make your toes curl! Hey - if it's the worst thing in the soup, then whatt've you got to lose?


missliss5/Melissa said...

I am TOTALLY going to make this. I love lentils and haven't got a clue how to cook with them. THANKS for this recipe! I wish I could make it today!

lindsey said...

This sounds yummy! Thanks for the tip!