I made this last January and have been thinking that I should make it again this weekend. It's a great cold weather dish.
Lenticchie in Vellutata con Crostine e Scarola
Pureed lentils with croutons and escarole
La Cucina Italiana Jan/Feb 2010
3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
½ c finely chopped onion
1 c small lentils (any kind, actually, will work)
4 c vegetable broth (I used ½ chicken broth ½ water)
3.5 oz good quality baguette cut into 1 x 1.5” pieces
1 sm head escarole (about ½ lb) roughly chopped
• Heat oven to 325 deg
• In a medium saucepan, heat 1.5 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 min. Add lentils and stir to combine add 2.5 c broth and 1 c water, bring to a simmer, then reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook until the lentils are tender 35 – 40 min.
• Meanwhile, spread bread on a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until croutons are dry and lightly golden, 12 to 15 min. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
• In a large skillet, heat remaining 1.5 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add escarole and generous pinch salt; cook, stirring frequently, until wilted and tender, about 3 min.
• In a blender, carefully puree lentil mixture with remaining 1.5 c broth in batches. Return puree 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.
You can easily convert this to a porkatarian recipe by topping with fried diced bacon.