Happy New Year & Happy 2023!
I woke up this morning thinking I wanted to make soup. Strange, I know. Who does that? Anyway soup was on the menu and flipping through an Italian soup book I stumbled across zappa di lenticchie rosse, or red lentil soup. That sounded good to me, so that was lunch. Now typically when I’m making something new I loosely follow the recipe and then add my culinary touches along the way. Sometimes it resembles the original recipe, other times… not so much.
Just a side note… I am not a photographer, and definitely not a food photographer. If you’re ever looking for that sort of thing, reach out to Jeff Hage at Green Frog Photo. He’s the expert!
My wife mentioned to me once she found out lentil soup was on the menu, that it was an Italian New Years tradition. Lentils are served on New Year’s Eve after midnight. The lentils, with their coin-like shape, represent luck and prosperity. The magic of lentils is in their round shape thought to resemble Roman coins, therefore symbolizing money and prosperity. So traditionally, Italians consider eating lentils to bring good luck and fortune to the family for the upcoming year.
Though typically eaten New Year’s Eve, I hope it still counts for me even though I’m a bit late.
There are lots of recipes online but I used the one from Accidentally Vegan Italian Soups by Giovanni Caruso. It’s a small little paperback packed with great recipes.
It turned out great but I did add some chopped parsley when it was done (mixed in the soup) and some chopped green onions (sprinkled on top prior to serving) which added a bit of “freshness.” It’s got great flavors and just a solid comfort soup great for a winter’s day.
Zappa Di Lenticchie Rosse (Red Lentil Soup)
From Accidentally Vegan Italian Soups by Giovanni Caruso.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and diced small
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
- 2 celery stalks, diced small
- 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups dried red lentils
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Make a golden soffritto in a soup pot by frying the onion, carrot, celery, marjoram leaves, crushed red pepper, tomato paste, and a pinch of salt in the olive oil on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, adding the garlic in the last minute.
2. Add the lentils, vegetable stock, and bay leaf and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
3. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
If you try it, let me know what you think and if you did any adjustments!