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Lentil Soup
Lentil Soup
(Zuppa di Lenticchie)
 
 
Ingredients:

2 cups lentils
4 cups prepared beef broth
6 to 8 cups water
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 cup canned crushed Italian-style or whole tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 to 10 thick slices Italian bread
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese 

Directions:

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.

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 sieve to remove seeds.

Heat olive 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 Parmigiano cheese.

Ladle soup into bowls.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

That's it!
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