Another round of snow floated down from the sky last night, coating everything in its path in a fresh new coat of winter white. I tossed and turned like a child wondering whether a day of work would be called off. We were anticipating another big storm. Mike was called into work at midnight. I haven’t seen him since he came in to grab the bagel sandwich I made him last night, also making my sleep efforts seem like an unwanted chore. Always last to be plowed out, always a mess of snow and ice leftover to threaten slipping and sliding on your way, I chose to give up a day of pay. I must admit I started feeling a touch of cabin fever early this afternoon. This can’t possibly go on all winter. So I did laundry and watched TV, cleaned and cooked. My belly is full from the lunch I had of lentil and escarole soup. I now sit with a cup of hot apple cider as I watch a light flurry that appeared fall outside of my dining room window.
The soup I made was one I found in La Cucina Italiana magazine. You puree lentils with onions and vegetable broth and then pull the whole soup together with escarole and homemade croutons on top. I added a little pecorino romano cheese in the soup and instead of just topping the soup with escarole, I added it in the soup itself. It turned out pretty yummy!
Below is the original recipe for Pureed Lentils with Croutons and Escarole found at
puréed lentils with croutons and escarole
lenticchie in vellutata con crostini e scarola
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup small lentils (such as Castelluccio, Colfiorito or French lentils du Puy), rinsed and drained
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 1/2 ounces good-quality baguette (about 1 ⁄ 3 baguette), cut into 1- x 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 small head escarole (about 1/2 pound), roughly chopped
- Coarse sea salt
Heat oven to 325°.
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add lentils and stir to combine. Add 2 1/2 cups broth and 1 cup water; bring to a simmer, then reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook until lentils are tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until croutons are dry and lightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
In a large skillet, heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add escarole and generous pinch salt; cook, stirring frequently, until wilted and tender, about 3 minutes.
In a blender, carefully purée lentil mixture with remaining 1 1/2 cups broth in batches. Return purée to pot and gently heat to warm through. Adjust seasoning. Add water to thin soup to your liking, if desired.
Ladle soup into bowls, top with escarole and croutons, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with a little salt.