Meatless Monday – Hearty and Rustic Italian Lentil Soup


Hearty Italian lentil soup _ Plus Ate Six 1

While I’m hot footing my way around Canada and the USA, some of my favourite bloggers have generously offered to share their favourite recipes on the blog. Praise be to these lovely ladies for helping me out and sharing the yum!

Today, I’m very happy to introduce you to Nancy from Plus Ate Six. Nancy lives in Shanghai and her recipes are downright delicious. We share a love of running, a good glass of red and eating dumplings, but not at the same time, obviously. When (because there will be a when,) we get to meet IRL (In Real Life,)  I know we’ll manage to combine our love of all three, but for now, over to you, Nancy…

Hi I’m Nancy and I’m so happy so be here guest posting for Sam whilst she runs her happy races around Disney. 

Whilst we’ve never met in real life I know that Sam is a woman after my own heart – she loves cooking, running and the occasional (!!) cocktail. One of these days our paths will cross and I know we’ll spend hours laughing and eating our body weight in dumplings.

In fact, Disney has just opened here in Shanghai so it’s only a matter of time before the inaugural half marathon is announced. Sam – I’ll keep you posted – although there is no chance of me wearing fancy dress 🙂

I’m sharing today a deceptively delicious Italian Lentil Soup. It’s rustic, hearty and very simple and perfect for those days when you want something comforting but don’t want to spend a lot of time creating magic in the kitchen. Don’t forget to give each bowl a glug of really good olive oil and and handful of grated parmesan – and definitely have a glass of wine on the side.

Best of luck Sam & David – what an amazing thing to do together. Now, let’s get down to business. Here’s the recipe.

Hearty Italian lentil soup _ Plus Ate Six 3 (1)


200g small brown lentils
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
400g can tomatoes {Note 1}
400g can chickpeas, drained
1 litre water water/stock {Note 2}
parmesan rind/s {optional}
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
grated parmesan and olive oil for serving

How to

  1. Rinse the lentils and place in a pan with garlic, bay leaves and 1.5 liters of cold water. Cook for 30 minutes or until almost tender, skimming occasionally if necessary. Drain lentils {Note2}
  2. Whilst the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a gentle heat and saute onion, carrots and celery for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stir in the lentils and water/stock and simmer for 20 minutes until nice and soupy.
  4. Add the chickpeas, salt and pepper and simmer for another 10 minutes adding more water if it’s getting too thick.
  5. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve. Slosh over a good glug of good olive oil and parmesan cheese.

{Note 1} I prefer to buy cans of whole tomatoes and then chop them up in the tin once opened. I think they taste better than ready chopped tomatoes that’s all.
{Note 2} The lentils I used turned the water dark brown and I didn’t want to add that to the soup so I tipped it away and used vegetable stock instead. It’s up to you.

Nancy blogs at Plus Ate Six where she shares easy and delicious recipes made with fresh ingredients, she believes delicious food doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. She’ll show you how simple it can be – real food made simple!

You can find Nancy and all of her delicious recipes on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and of course, her beautiful blog Plus Ate Six.

Nancy - Plus Ate Six