Here’s her winner of a recipe for lentil soup that’s gathered hundreds of five-star reviews singing its praises.
Giada De Laurentiis says lentils pack an incredible nutritional punch in a small package
In her cookbook Eat Better, Feel Better, the chef waxes eloquent about the small but mighty legume.
“If you want to eat less animal protein, as many people do these days, beans should be right at the top of your shopping list as a great source of protein and fiber,” she writes. “Lentils are my top pick because they cook in less than 20 minutes and they’re also a little easier for my body to digest.
“Experiment with the different varieties: red, brown, green, and black lentils all cook up a little bit differently. I eat them in soups, salads, and grain bowls.”
The chef’s lentil soup is utterly simple
With onion, garlic, celery, carrots, diced tomatoes, low-salt chicken broth, fresh thyme sprigs, dried elbow pasta, shredded Parmesan and, of course lentils, this is a soup that doesn’t require any fancy ingredients.
“You know, lentils were known as a food for the poor centuries ago,” De Laurentiis says in the Food Network video, above, for this recipe. “And then during World War II, when food was scarce, people took an interest in lentils again. Now, everybody loves them.”
The vegetables are cooked first in a pot, followed by the tomatoes and lentils. The chef adds the stock, using the low-sodium packaged variety to “control the amount of salt that goes into this dish. … If you want, you can use vegetable stock.”
She adds the “minty, lemony” thyme and lets the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender. Then, the pasta goes in. Lastly, the Parmesan cheese is sprinkled on top and this soup is done!
Get the complete recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.
Reviewers by the hundreds praised De Laurentiis’ lentil soup recipe
A crowd-pleasing dish that can provide several servings or leftovers is a win-win in many home cooks’ opinions, and De Laurentiis’ soup fits the bill, as over 500 Food Network reviewers confirmed in their comments.
“Made this tonight and the entire family loved it including the picky husband, 3-year-old, and one-year-old! My only change was dried thyme. Was certainly more stew-like than a soup, but that is how we prefer it. This is a keeper for our family!,” one person wrote.
Another reviewer was impressed at the soup’s ability to clean out pantries: “Very easy to make. I didn’t have to make a special trip to the store and of course, it is delicious!”
Lastly, this home cook said the chef’s recipe brought back happy memories, writing, “BEST Lentil Soup ever! Just like my grandma used to make. Very Italian with the pasta in it. Delish! Giada you’ve done it again!”