Every other Saturday during my childhood, we would have this soup or a variation of it – sometimes with angel-hair noodles or egg stirred through it. I’ve always called it my Nonna’s soup, as it reminds me of her every time I eat it. It’s a regular wintertime soup on my menu. I usually double the recipe (adding extra salt to taste) and eat it over a couple of days for lunch and dinner. It’s really one of my favourites! I love the clear fennel-scented cleansing broth with droplets of olive oil coating on top and the fragrant taste of freshly cracked pepper. The lentils make this a protein-rich meal, a simple Sicilian soup that is hearty and nourishing. The best!
- 1 cup whole red or green lentils
- 2 cups chopped celery, stems and a few leaves
- 2 cups chopped fennel, bulb and feathery tips
- 1 medium onion, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
- 2.5 litres filtered water
- 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
- 1 tablespoon quality salt, or to taste
- Extra quality salt and cracked black pepper, to serve
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