Tomato-Lentil Soup

This past week was supposed to be cookie week, so as I could send out a variety of Christmas packages to loved ones near and far. Alas, this was not to be.

I have spent the past week going over notes from the publisher on book related items, the last edit before it officially goes to print. So I have been focused on that rather than on cookies. This did not make me happy. Don’t get me wrong. The book process is still thrilling, but cookies should always win out, and they did not.

This has also meant that I did not have the time for extended stays in the kitchen. This meant any dinners made on my part would have to be quick and easy. Hence, this recipe.

I could write several paragraphs of flowery prose extolling the virtue of this soup. I could provide several reasons on how it touched my heart strings and brought up fond memories of long ago.

But nah…what you need to know is this: It’s the perfect walking away recipe, meaning that you can do one or two items regarding the recipe and then walk away for several dozen minutes before needing to pay the soup any attention. If you’re busy, it’s a great recipe to do on a hectic day.

The second thing you need to know is that the lentil hater in the house thoroughly enjoyed this soup. This counts as a major victory on my part, as she has historically not liked legumes of any sort.

Double plus enjoyment if served with buttered slices of Italian bread.

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 rosemary sprigs,fresh
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, cover the dried lentils with water for at least two hours. Drain and rinse before using.

In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the pancetta. Allow to fry for about 3 minutes before adding the onions. Cook for another 5 minutes before adding the celery, carrots, rosemary, bay leaves, and lentils. Stir well, ensuring the oil coats everything well.

Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, allowing the soup to cook for at least one hour. Remove the bay leaves before serving, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4