Tiziana’s lentil soup

Tiziana’s lentil soup

Zuppa di lenticchie

By
From
Tuscany
Serves
6
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

We enjoyed this hearty soup at our cousin Tiziana’s house. It was dressed with olive oil that was just three days old. The lentils were organic and grown just 1 km away and the Swiss chard was from her orto (vegetable garden). This recipe is very easy and very pure – the flavours come from the lentils and fresh ingredients.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g small brown or green lentils
1-2 teaspoons salt
150g swiss chard with stalks, finely diced
or spinach leaves, finely shredded
1 long celery stalk, finely diced
2 tomatoes, fresh or tinned, finely diced
1 tablespoon best-quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
small handful parsley, finely chopped
1/2-1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, or to taste (optional)

Method

  1. Soak the lentils for 15–20 minutes in a bowl of cold water. Drain and put them into a pan and fill with 1 litre of fresh cold water, or until the lentils are just covered. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, put the Swiss chard, celery and tomatoes in a saucepan with a good pinch of salt, the oil, parsley and chilli (if using), and cover with a lid. Put over a low heat and let everything cook slowly for 15–20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened – it will form its own juice.
  3. Drain the lentils and add them to the chard soup base, keeping the cooking water. Then add around 400 ml of the lentil water (you don’t want to add too much). Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 45 minutes, covered. Add a little more cooking water if it looks dry. Season with salt to taste. Serve swirled with your best olive oil.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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