Italian red lentil soup

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More!  More with the red lentils!  Yet, suddenly they are few, after this unexpectedly well-received stew:  Almost a minestrone sort of flavor, enhanced with the earthy, lentil tones.

Yet another, from Chefjar: How she managed to get hers that red, and how she made a soup from 2.25c lentils to 3c broth — both, deep mysteries.  It took close to twice that broth, and still it was quite thick soup.  However, the anticipated dilution of other flavors did not happen, and the proportion of vegetables was perfect.

Delicious, hopped up with generous cayenne, a little parmesan and cilantro, and served with arancini balls, hearty bread and a nice salad.  All but Ari enjoyed it, especially Jared — to his surprise.  Probably ours, too…

INGREDIENTS
  • Red lentil- 2¼ cup
  • Olive oil- 3 tbsp
  • Salted Butter- 3 tbsp
  • Onion ( finely chopped)- 1 large
  • Carrots ( diced) – 1 medium
  • Celery sticks ( diced)-2
  • Shredded Italian Prosciutto/ Smoked ham/ Smoked sausage- ½ cup
  • Italian plum tomatoes with juice- 1 can
  • Meat ( Beef) broth- 3 cups
  • Salt -to taste
  • Black pepper- to taste
  • For Serving
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano cheese- 4-5 tbsp
  • Fresh parsley/ cilantro – 3-4 tbsp
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large saucepan melt the butter & add olive oil.
  2. Add the chopped onion and the ham/ sausage/ Prosciutto. Cook the onion until golden or brown.
  3. Add the diced carrots & celery sticks. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the tomatoes & bring the soup to boil.
  5. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  6. Wash and drain the lentils. Transfer the lentils to the saucepan with veggies, add the broth.
  7. Cook the soup over medium heat 45-50 minutes.
  8. Some types of lentils will absorb more liquid than others. If necessary, add more broth while cooking.
  9. You can substitute the broth with water.
  10. Serve the soup hot with freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano cheese & parsley.
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