Winter is officially here. Temperatures in Rome are now in the single digits in Celsius – that’s in the 40′s for those of you in Farenheit land. I’m sure I’m not alone in craving warm comforting food when the temperatures drop – much to the chagrin of my waistline.
Even the Clumsy Cook has a simple solution for dinner on these cold winter nights. This lentil soup is easy and requires no slaving over the stove.
1 to 1 1/2 cups of small brown lentils
1 celery stalk
1 clove of garlic
1 long sprig of rosemary
1/4 cup of olive oil
1-2 teaspoons of vegetable broth
sea salt to taste
thyme to taste
tomato sauce to taste
Chop up onion, carrot, celery and garlic into small pieces and sauté in a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot.
After veggies are soft, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups lentils and sauté together for a few seconds.
Add about 2-3 liters of water depending on how many lentils you used.
Add some pinches of sea salt, a pinch of dried thyme, the long sprig of rosemary, a couple of splashes of tomato sauce and about a tablespoon of vegetable broth.
Mix and leave at high heat for a little while until boiling and then lower to medium heat.
In total – you want to leave the soup simmering on the stove for about 1-2 hours. Keep checking from time to time to make sure all the water hasn’t evaporated.
When you see that the soup is thickening – take an immersion blender and blend the lentils until you have a creamy, but chunky texture.
Turn off heat and allow to come down a bit in temperature – warm, but not scalding.
Dish out into bowls, add a drizzle of olive oil and if you are partial to cheese, you can add some grated parmigiano on top.
Serve up with some crusty bread – a simple bruschetta with garlic and olive oil is a good match.
Pour yourself a glass of nice red wine to go with it and enjoy!