LENTIL AND ESCAROLE
Minestra di lentiche con verdura
Preparation - Easy; Prep: 20 - Cook: 50
Serves 4 as a main course
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 large tomatoes, chopped
- 2 bay leaves, torn in half
- 1 head escarole lettuce (about 1 lb), washed and cut into 1 inch strips.
- 1/2 lb lentils (if using Italian lentils, soak overnight as they do not cook as rapidly as lentils found here in supermarkets.)
- Pecorino or Parmesan cheese as shavings (not grated - see photograph)
- 6 cups water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- IN a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
- ADD onions, carrots and celery.
- SAUTÉ, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or till soft, do not allow vegetables brown.
- ADD 5 cups of water to start.
- ADD the lentils and the bay leaf.
- COOK for 20 minutes.
- ADD 2/3 of tomatoes.
- ADD more water if necessary.
- COOK for another 10 minutes.
- WHEN lentils done to taste, add the escarole.
- COOK till escarole turns limp, 3- 4 minutes.
- LADLE soup into bowls.
- SPRINKLE surface with remainder of the freshly chopped tomatoes and slivers of Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.