Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium stalk celery, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled ad chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can (14 ounces) plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 8 ounces brown lentils, picked over and rinsed (1 1/4 cups)
- 6 cups water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium thead escarole (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2. Add the lentils and water to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, separate the escarole leaves and rinse well. Stack the leaves and cut them crosswise into 1/- inch-wide strips. When the lentils are tender, stir in the escarole. Return the soup to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the escarole is tender, about 10 minutes.
4. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes• These tiny lens-shaped lentils are perfect for family meals because, unlike beans, they need no pre-soaking and they cook more quickly.
• Lentils are among the most nutritious of foods. One cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein and provides significant amounts of iron, potassium, and dietary fiber.
• Their earthy flavor adds a wholesome quality to soups, stews, salads, dips, casseroles, and side dishes. But this ancient food can be admired for more than its ease of cooking and versatility.
• To use dried lentils, simply pour them into a bowl and rinse with cold water. Pick out any dark or discolored ones, then drain in a colander. Simmer them using a ratio of 1 part lentils to 3 parts water or stock until they’re the right texture for your recipe. To use in lentils in salads, cook green, brown and French lentils for 15 to 20 minutes, red lentils for 5 to 10 minutes. For soups and purées, increase the time by 5 to 10 minutes.