New Year's Eve Lucky Lentil Soup

If you haven’t had homemade lentil soup yet, it’s time you joined in the delicious fun! I’ve been eating lentils since I’ve been a child. Initially not terribly impressed, over the years I’ve grown to really enjoy this legume! Even if you’re familiar with lentils, you may not know that eating them at midnight on New Year’s Eve is a tradition maintained throughout Italy! It’s true! Lentils are a symbol of good luck and prosperity because they resemble small coins! The more you eat, the more wealth you’ll have!

Moreover, the lentil dish is frequently accompanied by a side dish of sausage – grilled or roasted.  The pork signifies the fat and bounty of the land. (Of course, for those who don’t eat pork, feel free to select turkey, lamb, bison, etc. for your sausage dish of choice!) Either way, we can all benefit from this high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals dish. Lentils really are a great way to start the New Year!

Recipe:

 (For 2 people)

  •  ½ cup of brown or green lentils

  • ¼ yellow or red onion, (peeled and cut into thin slices)

  • 1 carrot, (washed, peeled and cut into bite size pieces)

  • 10 ounces of tomato sauce, (I use Organic Strained Tomatoes by Bionaturae)

  • 1-2 soft swirls of extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste

Optional:

  • 1 celery stalk, (washed, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces)

  • Grated, locatelli romano cheese

  • Hot pepper flakes or sauce

  • Rice or broken up spaghetti, (I use gluten-free spaghetti by Bionaturae)

Preparation:

(60 minutes total)

  • Measure the lentil amount and pour onto your kitchen counter. Look over for any small pebbles or non-lentil items and discard. Place the lentils in a colander and rinse with cool water. Add lentils to your pot.

  • Fill the pot with 5.5 cups of cool, filtered water, (the amount of water will vary according to how “soupy” you want your lentils. We love lentil “soup” so tend to use all the water indicated above. Please note, in the cooking process, the liquid will evaporate so you may want to add small amounts of extra water to maintain your desired lentil wetness.)

  • Place the filled pot over a high flame and add in all your ingredients including the celery should you opt. Once the water starts to boil, reduce the flame.

  • Allow the lentil soup to cook for 50 minutes on a soft/medium boil monitoring if extra water is needed according to your preference. Add salt and pepper towards the end of cooking.

  • The rice and spaghetti can be cooked apart from the lentils according the instructions on their package.

If Desired:

When the lentils are done add to a bowl with some rice or cut up spaghetti. Top with a teaspoon of grated cheese of a small amount of hot pepper flakes/sauce. You may also want to add a light drizzle of fresh extra virgin olive oil to finish your dish!

 

Eat these hearty lentils with your side of sausage for the delicious taste, great nutritional value and abundance of ultimate luck and prosperity for 2016 and beyond! Cheers!

Feel free to leave your comments. Also, if you liked this recipe’, please share it with your friends and family! Thanks!