Today, I want to share with you a recipe that holds a special place in my heart – Lentil Soup. This hearty and comforting dish has been a staple in my family for generations, passed down from my great-grandmother who hailed from a small village in Italy. While the origin of this recipe may be humble, its flavors and warmth have the power to transport me to a simpler time, evoking memories of family gatherings and cozy evenings by the fireplace.
– 1 cup dried lentils
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 carrots, diced
– 2 celery stalks, diced
– 3 cloves of garlic, minced
– 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Fresh parsley, for garnish
Step 1: Prepare the Lentils
Start by rinsing the dried lentils under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Once cleaned, set them aside.
Step 2: Sauté the Aromatics
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables become tender and fragrant.
TIP: For an extra depth of flavor, you can also add a small chopped bell pepper or a handful of mushrooms to the sautéed vegetables.
Step 3: Simmer the Soup
Pour the vegetable or chicken broth into the pot with the sautéed vegetables. Add the rinsed lentils, bay leaf, dried thyme, and paprika. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
TIP: If you prefer a smoother consistency, you can use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup before adding the lentils.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the soup from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Step 4: Season and Garnish
Once the lentils are cooked to perfection, remove the bay leaf from the pot. Season the soup with salt and pepper according to your taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. The vibrant green of the parsley adds a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
Variation: If you’re looking to add more protein to your lentil soup, you can include cooked chicken or diced sausage. Simply add them in during the simmering stage and let the flavors meld together.
Final Thoughts: Lentil Soup is not just food; it is a nourishing embrace that warms the soul. Its simplicity and versatility make it a perfect weekday meal or a comforting addition to any special occasion. As with any family recipe, feel free to customize and experiment with different seasonings and ingredients to make it your own. So, gather your loved ones around the table, savor each spoonful, and create your very own treasured memories.
Let’s celebrate the simple pleasures of life – one bowl of Lentil Soup at a time.
|Amount Per Serving
|% Daily Value*
|Total Fat 4g
|Saturated Fat 1g
|Trans Fat 0g
|Total Carbohydrate 43g
|Dietary Fiber 16g
|Vitamin A 10%
|Vitamin C 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs: