This wonderful soup is adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. My father-in-law, who immigrated to the United States from Italy when he was 26, has said that my lentil soup is better than his mothers 🙂
To cut the tomatoes, I take kitchen shears and snip the tomatoes while they are in the can. Much less messy!
I have made this soup vegetarian, omitting the prosciutto and using vegetable stock instead of beef broth. Swirl 1 Tbsp. of butter in the pot at the end of cooking to add a slightly richer taste.
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped fine
- 4 ounces prosciutto, chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
- 1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
- 1 lb. dried lentils
- 2 cups canned beef broth
- 6 cups water
- salt and pepper
- freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Put butter and oil in a large 8 quart pot, add onion and prosciutto and turn the heat to medium high. Cook until the onion is a deep gold, stirring frequently.
Add the carrot and celery. Cook 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes with their juice, and adjust the heat so that they bubble gently, but steadily. Cook for about 25 minutes.
Rinse lentils in cold water and drain. Add lentils to the pot, stirring thoroughly to coat them well, then add the broth, water, pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Cover the pot, lower the temperature so that the soup cooks at a steady gentle simmer. Stir occasionally. Cook until lentils are tender and soup thickens, usually an hour. Taste and correct for salt and pepper. Serve with parmesan.
Using the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder, I calculated that the entire pot of soup has 62 points+. I forgot to measure how much soup this made last night (sorry!), but it’s a huge amount. If you make it, and want to know the points per serving, just divide 62 by the total number of cups of soup.