Lentil Parmesan Soup

published Nov 9, 2021
Lentil Parmesan Soup Recipe

You can use a couple of cans of whatever beans you like or have in place of the dried lentils in this soup.

Serves8

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Credit: David Malosh

Before quarantine 2020, when hoarding beans became a collective obsession, lentils were my dried legume of choice. They’re versatile and quick cooking in comparison to other dried bean varieties, and you can serve them to friends who claim to dislike beans with nary a complaint because they’re lentils. That said, you can use a couple of cans of whatever beans you like or have in place of the dried lentils in this soup. It’s the base here — staple aromatics and a lot of tomato paste — that supports the variations, regardless of what you start with. The generous shower of Parmesan helps, too. Plus it makes a lot; freezes great.

Lentil Parmesan Soup Recipe

You can use a couple of cans of whatever beans you like or have in place of the dried lentils in this soup.

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup

    olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 2

    yellow onions, chopped

  • 2

    carrots, chopped

  • 2 stalks

    celery, chopped

  • 4 cloves

    garlic, finely chopped

  • 3 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 4 tablespoons

    tomato paste

  • 1

    dried bay leaf

  • 2 cups

    dried brown or geen lentils (soaked overnight if you remember)

  • 8 cups

    water or vegetable broth

  • 1 cup

    shredded or grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

  • Chopped cilantro or parsley leaves and stems, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium high. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until tender and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Make a little hole in the middle of the veg so you can see the bottom of the pot and add the tomato paste, cook, stirring it into the vegetables, until it starts to darken in color, about 2 minutes (really wait for it: once the tomato paste starts to caramelize it will add a TON of flavor to the soup, especially if you’re using water and not broth). Stir in the lentils, bay leaf, water, Parmesan rinds if you’ve got ‘em and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. (if you soaked the lentils they’ll be done in about 15 min).

  2. Remove soup from heat and stir in 1 cup of the Parmesan. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if you like.

  3. Top bowls with lots of Parmesan (like a 1/4 cup each), cilantro and a drizzle of oil.

Recipe Notes

From READY, SET, COOK by Dawn Perry. Copyright © 2021 by Dawn Perry. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.