Italians know that a hearty lentil soup is guaranteed to deliver a rich and robust meal. This hearty zuppa is also simple to prepare, but to make things even easier, you can make a big batch in advance— the flavour becomes even more complex the next day.
Ingredients (Serves 8)
- 1 cup (225 g) Dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 bunch Basil
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 8 oz (250 g) Lentils
- 2 ½ l Chicken or vegetable broth
- 4-5 Shallots
- 2 Celery stalks
- ½ Celeriac (celery root)
- 1 Lemon, sliced thinly
- 2 Bay leaves
- Italian extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and thinly slice the shallots. Thinly slice the celery and the celeriac. In a saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Add bay leaves.
- To re-hydrate the mushrooms, soak them in room temperature water for ½ hour. Place the mushrooms and remaining vegetables in a large saucepan; cover and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. In the meantime, finely slice 2 dozen basil leaves with the garlic cloves. Set aside.
- Rinse the lentils under running water. In a pot, combine the lentils, mushrooms and the broth. Cook for about 20 minutes. Set aside.
- Five minutes before serving, add lemon slices and basil-garlic mixture. Serve with fresh ground pepper.