I love lentil soup, and in particular hearty, wholesome lentil stews – with potatoes and sausage and bacon, or weiner sausages, or the tiny little pork sausage meatballs my mom adds… it is one of the easiest, most satisfying winter dishes I know.
But sometimes, it has to be Sicilian Lentil Soup for me – a wonderful light and easy, summerly kind of soup with lots of fresh fennel and a pungent bite of hot pepper, fresh tomato and a drop or two of thick, dark green olive oil… so that’s what I chose as my entry to the “Soup Glorious Soup” event hosted by A Veggie Venture. And it is a vegetarian and even vegan recipe
It is very easy to make, very economical, and oh so tasty!
A few of the ingredients:
You need for about 4 servings
- 1.2 litres vegetable broth or stock
- 200 g lentils
- 300 g tomatoes (I used canned, but it is much better with fresh tomatoes)
- 2 medium onions
- 1 bulb of fresh fennel, or about 300 g
- about 7 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice, preferably fresh
- a pinch of sugar, optional
- 1 hot green chile pepper (jalapeno, serrano, you name it – I used red but green tastes AND looks better)
Bring the veggie stock to a full boil, add the lentils and simmer approx. 30-40 minutes (depends on the freshness of the lentils).
Meanwhile, deseed and chop the tomatoes, mince the onions, halve the fennel and slice thinly. save the fennel fronds for garnish.
In a skillet warm 3 tb of the olive oil and sauté the onion and fennel for a few minutes, add the tomatoes, sauté another 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, sugar and lemon juice.
Halve and deseed the hot pepper, cut into thin half rings – add to the lentils. Taste for salt and pepper. Ladle lentils into warmed soup plates and top with the fennel-and-tomato-mixture. Garnish with fennel fronds and drizzle each serving with a tablespoon of olive oil before serving.
The olive oil on top is a must-have, please don’t leave it out