Umbrian Lentil Soup with Pasta
An easy and nutritious traditional one-pot vegetarian/vegan pasta and lentil soup recipe from Umbria in Central Italy. An authentic Italian pasta recipe.
- 200-250 g small green/brown lentils (7-9oz) I used Umbrian lentils from Cascia. You can use French puy lentils
- 250 g pasta (9oz) You can use ditalini, broken linguine, maltagliati or sagnette. I used sagnarelli
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped
- 1-2 carrots finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary chopped leaves
- 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 tbsp tomato concentrate
- 1 lt warm water or vegetable stock (33floz) I used half and half
- salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper. as required
Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Wash and finely chop the celery and carrots. Wash and chop the rosemary leaves. Rinse the lentils under running water to remove any impurities (like stones). Umbrian lentils don't need pre-soaking. If you use another kind, check the packet to see if you have to soak them first. Small lentils are better. Red lentils not so good as they get mushy.
Saute the onion, carrots and celery with the olive oil in a deep heavy pan or Dutch oven (I used my Dutch oven). When the veggies start to soften add the garlic, rosemary and tomato concentrate. Mix everything together. Let it cook for another minute and then add the lentils and cover with warm water and vegetable stock. (I used half and half). Let the soup simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
Add salt to taste and then add the pasta. Continue cooking until the pasta is ready. Stir every now and again to prevent sticking. Serve with a little olive oil and ground black pepper as required.
The pasta cooking time will depend on the type of pasta you use. Check the packet for cooking instructions. You can use ditalini, broken spaghetti or linguine, sagne or maltagliati. I used sagnarelli from Giuseppe Cocco.
I used small Umbrian lentils that don't need soaking. You can use any small lentil but I wouldn't use red lentils as they can get mushy. Check the packet to see if they need pre-soaking