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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Iannelli-Rubin

Michy's Italian Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is a staple on our table.

I recently learned that in Italy, lentils are eaten at New Year’s to encourage good luck and prosperity. “Sera di Capo di Anno” is a gathering on New Year's Eve at a large table for a cenone (big feast), family and friends share their thoughts about the previous year’s blessings along with hopeful optimism for the coming year.

Goodbye to 2020!

We ate lentils at the beginning of of 2021, and will be eating a lot more of them throughout December. And why not? Aside from being a good luck charm for Italians, they are a great source of veggie protein, fiber, they are mineral-rich, and they have the power to keep you going, with your brain focused! That and lentils also provide you with a great source of iron. Maybe for all those reasons the Italians think of these as a good luck charm!


Michy's Italian Lentil Soup


2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound lentils (approximately 1 1/4 cups)

11 cups low-salt chicken broth

4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs

1 cup shredded Parmesan

**chopped tomatoes - optional**

**chopped fresh spinach - optional**

**pasta - optional**


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and stir. Add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.

  2. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  3. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

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