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Red lentil soup

Warm, colourful, nutritious, healthy, tasty and energetic. Soups, the comfort food par excellence.

They are part of the Italian culinary tradition and there’s one to suit everybody’s fancy! Soup is one of the dishes that find vegetarians and omnivores sitting at the same table in agreement. The most popular soups are those based on legumes that are grown throughout the peninsula. Whether it’s a bean or chickpea soup or a sweet pea and prawn soup, they are all delicious. The secrets to success are excellent raw materials and passion for cooking. Aware that long cooking times could put you off preparing a soup, we propose a dish based on decorticated red lentils, which are relatively quick to cook.

Before pairing legumes and wine, the main seasoning must be taken into account: indeed, the recipes based on these delicious foods are countless and range from soups and potages to pasta and stews. For lentils, the choice depends on how they are prepared and presented: if they are stewed, the ideal pairing is red wine. In this case we recommend Grande Alberone La Forza.

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 360 gr. of decorticated red lentils
  • 1 medium golden onion
  • 1 potato
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bay laurel leaf
  • 1 dry red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • ½ l of tomato sauce
  • ½ l of lukewarm water
  • 20 ml of red wine
  • slices of fresh bread with cereals
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Fine salt
  • Tuscan extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

First of all, prepare the vegetables for the mirepoix. Peel the carrot and the onion, rinse the celery and chop everything. Cover the bottom of a saucepan (preferably in terracotta) with extra virgin olive oil, add the tomato paste and the chopped chilli pepper and fry the celery, carrot and onion until the latter has browned. Add the potato already cut into cubes and the lentils, previously rinsed, simmer with red wine and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the tomato sauce and cover with water. Season the soup with the bay leaf and salt. Cover, lower the flame to a minimum and cook for at least 30 minutes stirring occasionally (make sure that the soup does not thicken too much and if necessary add more water). Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf and let the soup rest. In the meantime, prepare some bruschetta. Cut the bread into slices and bake at 180° C for 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven, rub it with garlic and sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve the soup with garlic-flavoured bread croutons and accompany your meal with a glass of  Grande Alberone La Forza.

Variants

For a lighter taste you can omit the tomato sauce. If you want to get a more creamy and velvety texture, when cooked you can mix everything with a blender. For a more nourishing soup, you can add pasta for soup or broth ten minutes before the cooking time is over.