For a great flexible recipe, I love to toss together a big pot of Hearty Italian Lentil Soup. Why is it flexible? Because you can make this soup thick and hearty for those who like a more stew-like soup, or thinner for those who enjoy it a bit more brothy. Hearty Italian Lentil Soup also has such a rich Italian flavor that several people have commented that they would love to throw in some beans and pasta and make it more like a Pasta Fagioli.
Another option? Imagine throwing in some frozen or even fresh Tortellini if you have them laying around. Or even a batch of Gnocchi, instead. Suddenly this recipe has so many more options available for including it in your 30, 45, or even 60 day menu plan. If you aren’t in a situation where freezer space is limited or unavailable, you can always make a double batch and toss some into the freezer in larger tubs for sharing with family or in single serving sizes for lunches work or quick meals in a pinch. Some even like to enjoy it as a late night snack.
One of our favorites with the leftovers, after it has sat in the fridge for a day or two, and the lentils have helped it to thicken nicely, take the soup and pour it over some boneless chicken in the oven. Allow the chicken to cook through and top with cheese then serve. Delicious! Now you see why we call this one so flexible. It can be used in so many different ways that it’s one you will definitely want to print for your home storage cookbook.
Hearty Italian Lentil Soup
Prep and Cooking Time: 2-3 hours (most of this is simmering time, prep time is only about 20 minutes)
Servings: 6-10, depending on serving size
1 Cup Chopped onion
1/3 Cup Carrot Dices
1 Cup Tomato Powder
1 Tbsp Chicken Bouillon
1 Cup Lentils
1 1/2 Cup Chopped Spinach
Organic Spice Blend:
1 tsp. Dry Thyme
2 tsp. Dry Oregano
2 tsp. Dry Parsley
1 tsp. Dry Basil
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
Black Pepper to taste
Salt Optional - we eliminate the salt because of the salt in the bouillon)
1 to 1 1/2 Gallons Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Option one: Pour 1 gallon of water into the pot, add all dry ingredients to the pot, and stir well. Bring to a boil, then turn to simmer, allowing to simmer for 30-60 minutes, until lentils are cooked through. Stir soup occasionally during simmering and add more water if it looks as though vegetables and lentils have absorbed too much. The longer the lentils cook, the more tender they will be. Allow to sit for a while to blend flavors. Best served the next day to allow flavors to mingle, but can be served as soon as Lentils are tender.
Option Two: Rehydrate onions with 1/3 C. water from the one gallon of water set aside. In a separate container, rehydrate carrot, spinach, and Tomato powder in about 2 cups of water from the gallon. When Onions are rehydrated, add a little olive oil to the pan and heat. Add onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add the rehydrated carrot, spinach, and tomato powder then add the balance of the water. Sprinkle in bouillon, spices, and lentils. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and serve, or allow to set for a bit for flavors to blend more thoroughly.
Option 3: Place olive oil in pan and lightly sautee the FD onions. Add the herbs and spices. Lightly sautee to allow flavors to blend. Add water, then bouillon, carrots, and tomato powder. Mix well, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer 30 minutes. Add lentils, and allow to continue to simmer for an additional 1 to 1.5 hours, testing the lentils for desired tenderness. When done, turn off heat and stir in spinach, gently. If necessary, reheat the soup to desired serving temperature.
Serve hot with parmesan sprinkled on top.
Judith has over 30 years experience in food storage, herbs, essential oils, and prepping. She was a captain in the USAF-AUX, FEMA trained, Community Emergency Response Team member and NRA marksmanship award recipient. She shares her experiences with her readers offering tips and recipes.
The information shared is our personal opinion and should NEVER be considered a substitute for professional medical, nutritional, or other expert advice. Information contained is not for the purposes of diagnosing, or treating any disease or medical condition. Any endorsement of products should not be considered an un-biased review since we are paid and compensated when you purchase products from this site.