Lentil, Celery, and Tomato Soup — from the Romagnolis

Along with my debt to Marcella, I owe Franco and Margaret Romagnoli my intense love for cooking Italian food.  Their cooking show in Boston on public television, their restaurant in the newly-refurbished Faneuil Market, and their cookbooks made simple, delicious Italian food accessible to me since the late 1970’s.

Imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when I found that they had a cookbook on soup that I did not know existed.  When I found the book, Zuppa!, I ordered it immediately on Amazon.  It’s not often that I can find a cookbook I want for only $0.14 (plus $3.99 shipping), so I was thrilled to add it to my collection recently.  Tonight I made the first of many recipes I want to try: lentil, celery, tomato soup:

Lentil, Celery and Tomato Soup

I made a few small changes: use fewer lentils and more tomatoes; no need to skewer the garlic cloves, they are easy to find and remove; add a small carrot for color and flavor, cut into 1″ pieces; no basil on had, so I substituted a few chopped baby spinach leaves instead; and throw in a few of the remaining grilled brussels sprouts from lunch.  It was relatively quick, and quite satisfying.

soup in the pot

soup in the bowl

The wine was a new discovery, both the wine itself, and the retailer who provided it.  Last week I found a place in the North End of Boston, the Wine Bottega.  I was researching some wine or other online and found their website.  Since I had an hour to kill after class last week, I wandered in and had a superb introduction and tour of the store by Matt Mollo, one of the principals.  One of the wines I bought was a Sangiovese from Umbria, a 2010 Le cese from Collecapretta.  It seemed appropriate for this dish, and even though the lentils were green and from France (not brown, from Umbria), it worked beautifully.

Le cese

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