Lentil soup - zuppa de lenticchie

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Lentils
4 cups Meat broth (stock)
8 cups Water
2 eaches Celery stocks, chopped fine
2 eaches Carrots, chopped fine
1 cup Crushed Italian tomatoes
¼ cup Olive oil
1 each Medium onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons Chopped parsley
2 eaches Garlic gloves, chopped
¼ pounds Pancetta
1 x Salt to taste
1 x Pepper to taste
8 eaches Thick slices Italian bread
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

See my recipe for Minestrone for description of pancetta. The flavour of this nutritious soup improves if made one or two days ahead. Place lentils in a large bowl. Add enough cold water to cover and let stand overnight. Discard any lentils that float to the surface. Drain and rinse lentils thoroughly. Prepare Meat Broth (see my recipe posted previously). Place lentils in a large saucepan. Add water, broth, celery and carrots. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 50 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press tomatoes through a food mill or a sieve, (only the pulp and juice of a fruit or vegetable pass through a food mill. Skin, seeds and any tough material remain behind), to remove seeds. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add onion, parsley and garlic. Saute over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes. Add pancetta. Saute 2 to 3 minutes or until pancetta is lightly browned. Add tomato pulp. Season with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat. Cook uncovered 15 to 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, place a third of lentil mixture in a blender or food processor.

Process until smooth. Return to saucepan. Add tomato mixture. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Toast bread until golden on both sides. Place 1 slice toasted bread in each soup bowl. Sprinkle generously with freshly ground Parmesan cheese. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve hot, or at room temperature.

Submitted By LAWRENCE KELLIE On 6-10-95

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