How to Make the Marcella Hazan Lentil Soup Recipe at Home

Lentil soup is a delicious meal that can serve as a primary dish or even a side or appetizer. One of the best of these recipes is the Marcella Hazan lentil soup recipe. This legendary chef created many fantastic meals and is often considered one of the best Italian cooking specialists of all time. Making the Marcella Hazan lentil soup recipe is simple and shouldn’t take a lot of excessive work.

Who Was Marcella Hazan?

Marcella Hazan was a very successful cooking writer based out of Italy who produced multiple cookbooks that were translated into English and many other languages. Her unique approach emphasized traditional Italian cooking, which is much different than the sugary and cheese-rich pasta dishes Italian-American restaurants serve. She helped popularize traditional Italian food in the west.

One of her most popular dishes is a lentil soup recipe that helped make this meal one of the widest spread throughout America. It utilizes some very healthy ingredients and produces a taste that is uniquely Italian, without being overwhelming or excessively salty. Thankfully, making the Marcella Hazan lentil soup recipe is something just about anybody can handle at home.

Nutritional Value of the Marcella Hazan Lentil Soup Recipe

This soup recipe is a fairly healthy option that doesn’t have a high concentration of fat. It has a decent level of protein and fiber, as well as low levels of sugar and cholesterol. It also has a decent, though not huge, vitamin content. Here’s what you get with each bowl of this soup:

  • 137 calories per bowl
  • 7.6 grams of carbs
  • 10 grams of fat
  • 4.7 grams of protein
  • 2.8 grams of dietary fiber
  • 1.6 grams of sugar
  • 216.9 milligrams of sodium
  • 109.5 milligrams of potassium
  • 16 milligrams of cholesterol
  • 6.5% vitamin A
  • 7.8% vitamin C
  • 2.6% calcium
  • 6.5% iron

The small caloric content of this soup means that you could burn it in just 21 minutes of cycling, 14 minutes of running, or 50 minutes of cleaning or walking in your home. That makes it a great option for people trying to lose weight, though the sodium content may be concerning for some.

Marcella Hazan Lentil Soup Recipe Ingredients

Many of the ingredients listed here are things you probably already have at home for other dishes. Others are items you may have to pick up at a local grocery store. Thankfully, none of them are too hard to find and should fit well into your next grocery run if you want to make this soup:

  • Two teaspoons of butter
  • One teaspoon of olive oil
  • One medium white onion
  • One medium carrot
  • One celery stalk
  • One-quarter pound unsmoked country ham
  • Two small Italian plum tomatoes
  • Two cups of brown lentils
  • Three cups of low-sodium beef broth
  • Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and herbs to taste

You’ll also need a large stock pot where you can mix and cook these recipes, as well as a strainer for washing and draining the lentils. A large stove is suitable for boiling this soup, and you’ll also need a large serving spoon to ladle the soup into your serving bowls when finished preparing this soup.

How to Make the Marcella Hazan Lentil Soup Recipe

Making this recipe is a great thing to do on a lazy Saturday or Sunday when you don’t feel like getting out and having a big day. Instead, you can cook a pot of delicious lentil soup and serve it to your family or just put in the fridge to save for later meals. Most people should be able to make this recipe following these simple steps and create a delicious soup in just over an hour:

  1. Place the stock pot on the stove and turn on medium heat
  2. Add olive oil and butter and heat until the butter is not foaming
  3. Put in the diced onions and ham and stir with a wooden spoon until onions are brown
  4. Chop and add the celery and carrots and the tomatoes and simmer for 25 minutes
  5. Pour in the washed and drained lentils and beef broth and simmer over medium-high heat
  6. Cover the pop and occasionally stir the dish until the lentils are soft
  7. Add broth through the cooking process if the mix starts to thicken
  8. Remove the pot from the heat once the beans are fully softened
  9. Add Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to your taste
  10. Serve in medium-sized bowls to 4-5 people
  11. Store any leftovers in air-tight bowls in the fridge for several days

This process should take over an hour to finish, so make sure that you budget in that much time in your day. Note that most of the cooking is done while the soup simmers, meaning that you can usually read a book, watch television, or attend to other chores. Make sure that you get back to your soup regularly through the simmering process, though, to stir and avoid burning it to the bowl’s sides.

Ways We Improve This Recipe

If you love this recipe but want to change it up a little, here are a few tips that can make it even more enjoyable. They will not only help to improve the overall taste (in most cases) but improve its health level (in a couple of situations). Here’s what we think you should do:

Find Unsalted Ham: If the sodium content of this soup concerns you, try to find low-sodium ham or make your own beef broth at home to cut back on your sodium intake.

Add Meatballs: Buy or make delicious meatballs and add them to your soup while it’s cooking. This provides more density to your soup and makes it a great protein-rich dish.

Mix in Pasta: Pick your favorite pasta and mix in a half-pound with your soup, adding more beef broth to thin the mix a little. You have created a delicious Italian-friendly meal that anyone would love!

Put In Some Bacon: If you’re not much of a ham fan, try mixing in bacon instead. This adds a little sweetness to the dish and changes its taste slightly, though it does add more fat.

Pour in Chickpeas: Thicken the soup and add more protein and healthier veggies by pouring in delicious chickpeas with the lentils, letting them soften as the soup simmers.

We also suggest pouring in some vegetable broth instead of beef if you want an even healthier soup. While beef broth is typically not a bad addition to soup, it does tend to have more salt than vegetable broth. Veggie broth is an excellent choice if you plan on a vegetable-thick lentil soup.

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