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!

Makes: 6-8 large bowlfuls
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour


  • 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


1. Place the lentils, celery, fennel, onion, fennel seeds, cracked pepper, Italian dried herbs and filtered water in a
large saucepan and bring to the boil on a medium heat.
2. Reduce heat and simmer and cook for 50 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are soft and cooked.
3. Add the parsley 5 minutes before serving to allow its flavour to steep in the boiling liquid, then stir in the oil and salt.
4. Divide soup into bowls, then serve with extra salt and cracked pepper on the side.

Shared with love by….

Anthea Amore, Organic Passion Catering

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