David Rocco’s cookbooks, particularly Made In Italy, enjoy pride of place in our pantry. This recipe represents a couple of variations on one of his recipes, and makes for a great late Fall dinner. Serve with fresh bread of your choice, and you’ll have a contented crowd.
While many soups benefit from a slow simmer, you’ll find that this is a recipe a busy assistant – and/or her or his partners in the kitchen! – can pull together in almost no time after arriving home from work. We use dried lentils and take the time to pre-soak them before making this soup but, if time is short, canned lentils – drained and rinsed – also do the trick.
- olive oil, ideally extra virgin – 60 mL / 4 tablespoons
- onion – one small
- garlic – 2 cloves
- parsley, flat-leaf or Italian – 1 bunch, or to taste
- chili peppers (2) or chili flakes, to suit
- roma/plum tomatoes – ideally fresh but, given the season, a 796 mL / 28 oz can works fine
- lentils – 540 mL / 19 oz, soaked and rinsed
- corn – this is a matter of debate in our home when it comes to soups; I like to add about 100 mL / half a cup of corn to such a recipe, but that’s entirely optional. There’s no corn in the serving you’ll see below.
- pepper – freshly ground, to taste
- Chop onion and sautee, in your soup pot, in a light drizzle of olive oil
- While onion is sauteeing, chop garlic and parsley finely; add to the pan. Stir in, and then add either finely chopped chili peppers or chili flakes.
- Saute until the onion is tender
- Add tomatoes and, with a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks, or whatever consistency you prefer
- Add the rinsed lentils and pepper
- Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the soup has thickened