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Lentils are Delicious

It turns out that lentils are more than just a fairy tale footnote, and this recipe for a lentil soup is absolute proof of that. As long as winter hangs on, and the chilly first days of spring retain a frigid core, there will be a need for soup and similar comfort food. The rustic ingredients magically transform into a soup that is a hearty and filling as it is tasty. The broth turns an inky midnight/violet shade as the lentils cook – a delicious hue that is tempered once the red tomatoes go in. While every ingredients counts here, it is perhaps the fresh parsley and grated parmesan that makes the big difference in the end. (Those two bay leaves are a necessity to work their magic as well.) If you’re looking for a way to make the end of winter just a little more bearable, this is my secret weapon. Wield it well. (It comes from a wonderful cookbook, ‘Good Cooking’ by Jill Duplex.)

Abruzzese Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups small green lentils
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced finely
  • 2 celery stalks, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 14-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 14-oz can chickpeas, drained
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Rinse lentils, then place in pan with garlic, bay leaves and 6 cups cold water. Cook until almost tender (about 30 minutes), skimming occasionally. Finely slice onion and celery, and dice the carrots. Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Add onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring often, for ten minutes.

Add vegetables and tomatoes to lentils and stir well. Simmer until nice and soupy, about 20 minutes. Add chickpeas, sea salt and pepper, and simmer for at least 10 minutes longer, adding extra water as necessary. Stir in chopped parsley and ladle into warm soup bowls. Served with grated Parmesan on top.

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