Legendary Dishes | Zuppa di Lenticchie (lentil soup)


Lentil soup is a stable throughout Italy and among the most popular are the soups with bread, chestnuts, green beans, lard, olive oil, pancetta, speck, tomatoes and numerous aromatics.

Sometimes the chestnuts and pancetta are fried in lard or oil to give them a roasted flavour.

The amount of water is determined by the type of lentil. We have chosen the small red lentils that dissolve during cooking for a blended soup.

We have added chestnuts, speck and cherry tomatoes.

The pancetta or speck can be omitted for a non-meat soup.

For a thick soup use less water, around half a litre.

  • 3 litres water
  • 400 g lentils
  • 250 g chestnuts, quartered, pre-boiled
  • 250 g pancetta / speck, cubed small
  • 200 g onion, chopped small
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes, halved / tomato passata
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 45 g sun-dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 10 g salt
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig marjoram

In a large pot cook the lentils with the chestnuts, onions, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs in water.

After an hour remove from heat and cool a little. Blend in batches into a smooth liquid.

Return the liquid to the pot, add the green beans, pancetta or speck, tomatoes and seasonings.

Cook for 15 minutes for beans with a crunch, 10 minutes longer if you want your beans softened.