Lentils are often served at the beginning of a new year and are seen as a sign of good luck because the look like little coins. In many cultures, its good luck to eat lentils, especially on New Year’s Day. The reason is not just because they are shaped like little coins, but also because they provide nutrition. Either way, there is nothing ever wrong with a hot steaming bowl of soup composed of good nutrients on a cold winter day. It is a light escape from the heavy eating from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve to Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve drinking and eating. However, in Northern Italy it is customary to cook them with large links of sausages as well.

My mother always made them, but her father (my grandfather) always made fried sausage with it. Whether you want to fry your sausage, boil it along with the lentils or just go vegetarian all together, here is a simple, satisfying recipe. A video on YouTube from my Ravenite Club project is online too, and embedded below.

  •  8 (1 cup) ounces dried lentils
  • 1 cup chopped or finely diced carrot, onion and celery
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of wine for deglazing
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ounce of finely chopped bacon or pancetta (optional)
  • Parsley for garnish and/or some for cooking

Venezuelan Version: Why is there a Venezuelan version on an Italian website?  The fact is (other than I am married to a Venezuelan woman who loves Italian food), many Italians immigrated to Venezuela and influenced the cooking. Over time, or even generations, they adjusted the taste according to their palates and ingredients.

  • 3 strips pre-cooked bacon
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) lentils, soaked for 4 hours
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Author: raveniteclub