I came across Chef Robin White’s #SoupWeek on Twitter and was thrilled to see some new vegetarian soup recipes. Soup is my favorite lunch item especially on a cold rainy day. Probably almost everyone’s! The weather lately out in the east coast has been thus, so I was excited to try something new. As always I improvised the recipe cutting some items out either because I did not have them in my kitchen or because I did not fancy them (such as leeks) and added others such as red crushed pepper which I tend to add to most of my recipes. So here goes my version of the Lentil Rustica:
1 yellow onion chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 red bell pepper
2 celery sticks
1/2 bunch spinach
2 small tomatoes crushed (instead of paste)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbsp mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup green lentils (I used a mix of flat whole French green lentils and whole Indian green lentils)
Soak the lentils over night or in hot water for an hour if using only French green lentils
In a pan add 1-2 tbsp olive oil and saute onion, garlic, red bell pepper (chopped) and leeks (if using) with salt and pepper for 20 minutes until the mix turns translucent. Add chopped carrots and celery and cook for 10 minutes. Add 1 bay leaf, mustard, tomato paste (or I used two fresh tomatoes crushed) and parsley and continue cooking for a minute. Then add 1/2 cup dry red wine and cook for another minute. Finally add lentils and broth (in my case I added water). Cover and cook on low heat for an hour. Toss in the chopped spinach and cook for another minute.
Serve hot in a bowl, drizzle olive oil and red wine vinegar and garnish with some fresh chopped parsley.