Lentil soup recipe

Thick lentil soup (Minestra di lenticchie)

Regional variations of this soup were common in the “cucina povera” or poor people’s cuisine of Abruzzo and it was probably a soup or potage of this sort that Carlo overturned during a fight with his father. In good years or in more wealthy households, the soup might include sausage, but this is a vegetarian version, contributed by Gabriella Maio, the best Abruzzese cook that I know, and a wonderful friend.

Ingredients

2 cups dry lentils
handful of dry chestnuts
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
¼ C olive oil

Finely chop the carrot, celery, and garlic. Saute’ in oil. Add lentils and chopped dry chestnuts. Add enough water to cover completely and cook over low heat for 30 minutes until soft. Cooking time will depend on the size of the lentils. Buon appetito (and don’t throw the lentils on the floor!)

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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