Some time ago a friend gave me a subscription to a great food magazine called La Cucina Italiana. If feasible I try to make at least a couple things from each issue. The last issue has a whole bunch of really good ideas. Last night I made a soup, listed as Lentichie in vellutata con crostini e scarola, or lentil purée with croutons and escarole.
Except… the store didn’t have any escarole. So I used a flashy on sale purple kale instead.
Lentils are a great winter dish. And super cheap.
I started with a cup, and rinsed them.
In a medium sized pan I softened up a half cup of finely chopped onion in olive oil.
Add your lentils and a couple cups of vegetable broth and a cup of water.
Cook for 40 minutes. Put it through a blender or food processor in small batches. You might keep some broth handy if it is too thick. Return it to the pan and adjust the flavor with salt and pepper if you need to. I don’t have a large food processor, so I used a blender.
In the meantime, in 350F oven make some croutons from good crusty bread. I got a small loaf of one of those warm-it-at-home breads with some garlic it. I cut some pieces and put them on a pizza stone.
In the meantime, I cut up the science fiction vegetable and put it into a frying pan with some olive oil, and wilted it down.
I really wanted the escarole, but… oh well. I think you could also do very well with baby bok choy.
Out come the croutons.
Put it together.
There were still some bubbles from the blending process, but it was still hot and I was hungry… so…
This made 4 servings.
A patient reheating before serving will get rid of the bubbles and escarole will make it look less Klingon.
Also, you could add more liquid for a thinner soup or leave it thick and use it almost like a sauce.
The texture was velvety. It was a very nice, almost-makes-itself cold weather meal.
I will probably also try the vellutata di cavolfiore next, which is garnished with leek and veal, and then the crema di fagioli e orzo. There is also an interesting one from carrot with little fish-meatballs. If I can get some mussels on sale I will for sure try the squash purée with mussles.