Lentil and Chestnut Soup
Most ingredients are available in Antonio’s Market!
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Onion, Finely Chopped
1 cup Small Brown Lentils
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 ea Bay Leaf
20 Bottled Cooked Chestnuts
3 ea Thyme Sprigs
4 ea (1/4in thick) Slices Baguette, Toasted
4 ea Basil Leaves, Chopped (Optional)
Fine Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Method of Preparation
1. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add onion and a pinch of salt, reduce heat to low.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes.
4. Add lentils and tomato paste, stir to combine, then add 4 cups of water and bay leaf.
5. Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer.
6. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, coarsely chop 12 chestnuts.
8. In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tbsp oil and thyme over medium heat.
9. Add chopped and whole chestnuts, cook for 5 minutes.
10. Remove from heat and transfer whole chestnuts to paper towels to drain.
11. Discard the thyme sprigs.
12. When lentils have cooked the 25 minutes, add the chopped chestnuts and pan contents into the pot with the lentils.
13. Continue cooking for 10 to 15 more minutes.
14. Season soup with 1/4 tsp salt and fresh ground black pepper.
15. Ladle soup into bowls and top with whole chestnuts, baguette and fresh herbs.
La Cucina Italiana Magazine, November 2013 Issue