Italian Lentil Soup for Late Fall

The start of November marks a transition within a transition. Within the change of seasons from summer to fall, we have now officially entered the period of “late fall.” The harvest season is coming to its close. It’s time to start looking toward the winter in earnest. That means changing our attitudes toward work, trading the relaxed approach that carried us through Indian Summer for the earnest mentality and strong work ethic that will carry us through the winter months.

In November, old-fashioned phrases like “hunker down” begin to take on a special significance. The weather begins to turn properly chilly in November. When the air changes from cool to cold, I take it as my cue to start cooking hot, hearty soups and stews that “stick to your ribs,” another old saying that comes to mind at this time of year. I always make extra of these recipes, which I store in the freezer for warm meals down the line, in the heart of winter.

Here is my favorite Italian Lentil Soup recipe to kick off your late fall cooking.

Rosanna's Lentil Soup
Serves 8

1 pound small green lentils
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, miced
2 quarts (2 liters) organic chicken broth

Soak the lentils in a bowl of water for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

Put the oil in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the vegetables and saute until they are just soft, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours, until the lentils are soft. Serve with crusty bread drizzled with extra-virigin oil.

(Recipe from Coming Home by Rosanna Bowles, published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

Learn more about Rosanna Bowles

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