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Lentil Minestrone Soup

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“A satisfying main dish soup from "The Best Vegetarian Recipes" by Martha Rose Shulman. The pasta and rice absorb a lot of the liquid, so the soup is thick (add more water if you want a brothier soup). Advance preparation: The soup is even better if it's made a day ahead of time; but don't add the pasta or rice or parsley until you reheat. Then proceed with step 4. It will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator and for 3 to 4 months in the freezer.”
1hr 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in half the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until the garlic smells fragrant and is beginning to color, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes. Turn the heat to medium and bring the tomatoes to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat and smell fragrant. Stir in the lentils and 8 cups water and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, tie the Parmesan rind (if using), parsley, thyme, and the bay leaf together with kitchen twine, or tie in a piece of cheesecloth. Add to the soup. Add the cayenne, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add salt, about 2 teaspoons to begin with (you will probably add more) and the remaining garlic. Simmer for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the broth is fragrant.
  4. Add pepper, and stir in the pasta or rice. Continue to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the pasta or rice is cooked through.
  5. Taste to adjust the seasonings, and remove the Parmesan rind bundle. Stir in the chopped parsley. Serve, topping each bowl with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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