Traditionally, in my family, when the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve, we have a shot of lentil soup. This tradition dates back to Ancient Rome and is supposed to bring luck and prosperity…which we all need after a year like 2021.
Oh, and there’s a bonus…not only is this soup healthy and easy to make, but it freezes beautifully. Happy New Year to all. ❤️Dena
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
16 Garlic Cloves (whole)
10 Celery Stalks (tops and bottoms trimmed then diced)
9 Carrots (peeled and diced)
2 lbs. Lentils
2 – 16 oz Cans of Whole Peeled Tomatoes (Pureed)
2 ½ tsp. Salt
2 ½ tsp. Black Pepper
8 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Broth
4 Cups of Baby Spinach – uncooked
1 lb. small pasta (I usually break up spaghetti into tiny pieces)
2 Pecorino Romano – cheese ends – This is optional but highly recommended
Grated Pecorino Romano for garnish
In a soup pot, heat up the olive oil and cook the garlic cloves on low heat until they are fork tender. In a separate pot boil some water. Once it’s boiling add the lentils to the pot, and cook for 7 minutes. Drain the lentils and set aside. Remove the garlic from the oil. Put the carrots into the oil and sauté for about five minutes. Then add the celery. Sauté for another 10 minutes on a low flame. Add back the garlic to the pot. Add salt and pepper and the puréed tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes and then add the lentils. Give this a good stir and cook the lentils in the tomatoes for about 5 minutes. Add 6 cups of the chicken broth. Cook the soup for about 25 minutes. The soup will thicken. Then add in 2 more cups of the chicken broth, along with the ends of the Pecorino.
Boil the pasta of your choice. I like to break spaghetti up into small pieces and use that in the soup. Add the spinach to the soup. Cook for about 5 minutes until the spinach wilts and cooks. Put some pasta in a bowl and top with soup and grated Pecorino Romano.
Please note, This recipe yields about 1 gallon of soup. It can be very easily frozen and saved for another time.