Zuppa di lenticchie di Castelluccio – Umbrian lentil soup

50 minutes


Zuppa di lenticchie di Castelluccio

  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 400g of lentils, preferably from Umbria, picked over
  • 100ml of dry white wine
  • 1.5l vegetable stock, warm
  • 1 tbsp of tomato concentrate
  • fine sea salt


Place a large pan over a medium-low heat. Add the oil and, when hot but not smoking, add the onion, carrot and celery. Fry gently for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very soft
Add the lentils and stir to coat in the cooking juices. Pour over the wine and allow it to evaporate. Add roughly half of the warm stock, cover and let the lentils simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
When the lentils have absorbed all the available liquid, add half of the remaining stock and the tomato concentrate. Stir to dissolve. Taste and decide how much longer they should go: at this point, it should be about 10 minutes
Keep adding more stock as needed (how much really depends on how liquid you like your legume soup; I like it on the denser side), and stir and taste more frequently now. Adjust the seasoning to your taste
Once the lentils are tender and the soup is dense, remove it from the heat and allow it to rest, covered, for 10 minutes
Serve with a swirl of grassy olive oil – best if from Umbria – and toasted bread