Rice and lentils is a classic warm, rustic and comforting soup of Italian cuisine and is based on legumes and cereals.
Lentils are stewed in an Italian soffritto – onion, celery and carrot italian-soffritto– to which rice is directly added afterwards.
As rice releases all its starch, in this way rice and lentils soup is creamy.
Serves 4, Preparation time 10 mins, Cooking time 25-30 mins
- 250 g dried brown lentils
- 180 g Italian rice Roma or Vialone Nano variety or a short-grain common white rice
- 500 ml vegetable broth
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 small carrot
- a piece of celery
- salt and extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- Optional: a few pieces of pancetta (pork belly) or lard
- Optional: a sprig of rosemary
- Optional: a couple of ripe cherry tomatoes or a tbsp of tomato sauce
If you are going to use dry lentils, you have to put them in a large sieve and rinse them under running water. Then boil them for about 20 minutes.
Dice carrot, celery and onion for soffritto.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of Evoo in a large saucepan, add soffritto along with garlic and bay leaf (or rosemary sprig) and fry them for 1 minute.
Tip: if you want to add pieces of pancetta or lard, do it now and let it fry with soffritto.
Stir and let it flavour for 2 minutes on high heat, then add 2 ladles of broth, salt to taste, tomatoes if any and let it stew covered with a lid for 20 minutes.
Then add 2 more ladles of broth, let it boil, add the rice and remove both garlic and bay leaf – or rosemary sprig.
Cook the rice and lentil soup on a low heat for 15 minutes, adding hot broth whenever necessary and tasting to adjust with salt.
Ready and serve with a drizzle of Evoo.