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Grandma's lentil soup

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

A creamy and delicate flavour to fall in love with!

During my childhood, my grandmother used to cook this lentil soup every Tuesday. On that day we would often go to her house, after school, to have lunch with her. I still remember the joy of eating nonna Benedetta’s lentil soup, the most remarkable taste of my childhood.

Such a creamy and delicate flavour, I loved it and so did all her other grandchildren! For us every time it tasted better than the previous time, and we would always ask her what was her magic ingredient...the answer was always the same: love.

Apart from love, a very important step for her was avoiding stirring the lentils. She believed that if you would use a spoon to stir them, this would have stopped the cooking process and the lentils would have been hard. She was just gently moving the pot in a circular way, and stirred with a wooden spoon only a few minutes before turning the flame off.

Today, after so many years, this rule is still very clear in my mind and I don’t dare breaking it!

To soak or not to soak lentils? I usually don’t, I just rinse them in cold water, pick over to remove debris or shrivelled lentils, then drain.


Serves 4 - Preparation time 15 min - Cooking time 1 hour


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped

  • 2 sticks celery, diced

  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced

  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes

  • 6 cups cold vegetable broth or water

  • 2 cups brown or green lentils, sorted and rinsed

  • Salt & black pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped


Warm half the olive oil in a pot over a medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering add the onion, stir often until the onion has softened and turns translucent. It takes approximately 5 minutes.

Add the celery, carrot and the diced tomatoes, cooking for a few more minutes. Stir frequently to enhance the flavour.


Add the cold broth and the lentils to the pot. Bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

Cook for 45 to 60 minutes until lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Avoid stirring the lentils for the first 30 minutes, instead gently move the pot in a circular way if you are worried that they may stick to the bottom.

When cooked, taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.


To serve, divide the lentils between bowls. Finish with the fresh parsley, black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Leftovers can keep refrigerated for about 2 days or frozen for several months.

I usually cook a big pot of lentils, and with leftovers I would cook Pasta & Lentils or Lentil puree with crispy mushrooms.


Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please let me know your thoughts and tag me on my Fb page Pasta Journey or my Instagram _pastajourney_ . I would love to hear from you!

Marina Totta

#Lentils #Soup #Lentilsoup #Grandmother #Foodmemories #Memories

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