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Bachelor Pad Royale: Spicy Lentil Soup

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 17, 2008 4:30PM

2008_01_lentil_soup.jpgDifferent cultures around the globe have certain foods that are purported to bring about good luck if served and eaten at the start of a new year. While researching a story idea last month we spoke with Professor Bruce Kraig, President of the Culinary Historians of Chicago. Professor Kraig told us that, in Italy, lentils represent coins and that eating lentil soup is regarded as wishing for prosperity for the eater.

We also spoke with Giovanni Liucco, owner of Gio's Café and Deli in Bridgeport, who confirmed that he serves lentil soup for his family on New Year's. Liucco shared with us a very bare bones recipe for lentil soup. Over the weekend, craving a good soup, we adapted it, added some ingredients, and made spicy lentil soup. With temperatures forecast for the single digits this weekend, it looks like we're prepared to stave off cold, if not welcome a bounty of riches with open arms.

What You Need

one 2-pound bag lentils, rinsed and sorted
1-1/2 cup minced onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced carrots
1/3 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper

Cook all the ingredients according to the lentil package, about 35-45 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

See? Simple. You can add salt and pepper to taste. We added a dollop of sour cream and a couple drops of white truffle oil, the aroma of which nearly overpowered the soup. The recipe makes slightly over two quarts of soup, which means that you should have enough to last you for a week's worth of grilled cheese sandwiches.