Italian lentil soup

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
Makes 8 servings


  • 900 ml (3 2/3 cups) unsalted chicken stock
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) rinsed green lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 stalks of rosemary
  • 4 tbsp. a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 110g (180ml / 3/4 cup) diced pancetta
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, cut into cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grind
  • 4 stalks of thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) Parmesan cheese, finely grated + a little for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large pot, add 1 liter (4 cups) water, chicken stock, lentils, bay leaf and rosemary. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp. a tablespoon of olive oil. Add pancetta and cook until golden, 4 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add everything to the pot with the lentils and continue to cook, covered, until the lentils are tender, 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf and sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Add Parmesan cheese. Divide between bowls and drizzle with olive oil (only 2 tbsp) and grated parmesan, if desired.


• Cook lentils and vegetables separately to save time and improve flavor.

• Add Parmesan rind to the soup to give it even more flavor.

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