Paola of Primo non sprecare always has tasty Italian recipes. Her lentil and artichoke soup intrigued me, because I had not encountered that combination before. It is a vegan soup from only a few ingredients with a surprising flavor that I really liked.
For 4 servings
250 grams (1 1/4 cup) dried lentils
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns
1 small onion
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Place the lentils in a saucepan with plenty of water, the bay leaf, and peppercorns.
Bring to a boil.
Cover, lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the lentils are tender but still firm to the bite (20-30 minutes).
In the meantime, clean the artichokes and slice them thinly.
Place the cleaned artichokes in a bowl of water with the juice of half a lemon.
When the lentils are done, strain them and reserve the cooking liquid.
Once you have cleaned the artichokes, heat the olive oil in a casserole or Dutch oven and add the onion.
Stir the onion over medium heat until it is soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
Then add the artichokes and stir until they are covered with a thin layer of oil.
Add a bit of the lentil cooking liquid.
Cover the casserole and allow the artichokes to braise until they are tender but firm to the bite. Add more lentil cooking liquid as needed. The artichokes should be moist so they don’t burn, but they should braise and not boil.
When the artichokes are done and you are ready to serve the soup…
…add lentil cooking liquid as desired (depending on how thin or thick you like your soup).
Bring the liquid to a boil…
…and then add the lentils.
Allow them to heat through. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.