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)
1 ½ tsp. Salt
1 ½ tsp. Black Pepper
6 Cups of Chicken Broth
2 Cups of Baby Spinach
1 lb. small pasta (I usually break up spaghetti into tiny pieces)
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 flames. 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 the chicken broth. Cook the soup for about 25 minutes.
Boil the pasta of your choice. I like to break spaghetti up into small pieces and use that in the soup.Once the lentils and the other vegetables are soft add the spinach. Cook for about 5 minutes and serve topped with grated Pecorino Romano.
Please note, This recipe yields about 1 gallon of soup. It can be very easily frozen and saved for another time.