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Lentil Minestrone Recipe-3570

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


This is one of my alltime favorite soups. It’s better when cooked ahead of time, but add the cooked pasta and greens just before serving so that they retain their color and texture.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra virgin to finish
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery or celery root
  • Salt and freshly milled pepper
  • 1 cup French green lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • Aromatics: 2 bay leaves, 8 parsley branches, 6 thyme sprigs
  • 9 cups water or Basic Vegetable Stock
  • Mushroom soy sauce to taste
  • 1 bunch greens—mustard, broccoli rabe, chard, or spinach
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta—shells, orecchiette, or other favorite shape
  • Thin shavings of Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano- Reggiano


Heat the oil in a wide soup pot with the onion. Sauté over high heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, parsley, garlic, vegetables, and 2 teaspoons salt and cook 3 minutes more. Add the lentils, aromatics, and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pepper. If it needs more depth, add mushroom soy sauce to taste, starting with 1 tablespoon. (The soup may seem bland at this point, but the flavors will come together when the soup is finished.) Remove the aromatics.

Boil the greens in salted water until they’re tender and bright green, then chop them coarsely. Just before serving, add the greens and the pasta to the soup and heat through. Serve with extra virgin olive oil drizzled into each bowl, a generous grind of pepper, and the Parmesan.

© 1997 Deborah Madison

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information is based on 6 servings, includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, but does not include thin shavings of Parmesan, mushroom soy sauce, or Basic Vegetable Stock. For nutritional information on Basic Vegetable Stock, please follow the link above.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

282kcal (14%)
93mg (9%)
20mg (33%)
305mcg RAE (10%)
0mg (0%)
359mg (15%)
1g (4%)
6g (8%)
4mg (24%)

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