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« Disney Isn't Just For Kids | Valentine's Day Present »

Italian Style Lentil Soup

We've got a few busy days coming up. We're heading up to Orlando this afternoon for four days of grandkids, Disney/Epcot and dinner with friends (originally met online)at Enzo's on the Lake. It all sounds perfect to me.

I didn't want to leave without giving you a present. We've had the coldest south Florida winter since we moved here eleven years ago. I personally define cold as having to wear socks. Husband defines it by having to wear long trousers a day here and there. We both hate cold weather. I recently heard a weather forecaster on a national televison network morning show refer to full time south Floridians as "Orange juice sippin' sissies." Guilty as charged. But, being the Pollyanna that I am, trying to see the orange juice glass as half full rather than half empty, embracing the aphorism of "when the weather gets cold, the cold get going", I see cold weather as the much anticipated opportunity for whipping up stews, soups and chilis. (Wow! That was the mother of all run-on sentences. Mrs. Swensk, my fifth grade teacher is surely twirling in her grave.)

Below is my cobbled together recipe for a simple, but tasty and hardy lentil soup. It is full of wonderful tastes and textures. With the inclusion of tiny meatballs, it is a one bowl meal.

Lentil Soup


1/2 lb dried lentils

2 carrots finely diced

2 stalks celery finely diced

1 large onion, diced

2 or 3 springs finely minced parsley

1 large ham hock OR ham bone with some meat left on it

1/2 lb. small pasta shells or other small macaroni of your choice (I just usually break whatever long spaghetti I have on hand into 2 or 3 inch pieces)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Good quality shredded/grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for topping

tiny meatballs (recipe below)


Rinse lentils in cold water. Place in 4 quart pan and cover with cold water to fill pot a little more than half way. Add all other ingredients except macaroni, and the cheese. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 1/2 hrs. Add warm water if needed. Add meatballs as soon as they have finished browning.  About 5 minutes before soup is ready, remove bone and add meat back to the pot. Add salt, pepper and the olive oil. Cook the not overcook it; slightly firm is best. Drain and rinse pasta. Add desired amount of pasta to each bowl. Add soup and top with the grated cheese.

*Note: soup thickens when cooled. To reheat you may need to add some water.

Baby Meatballs


1/2 lb meatloaf mix (1/4 lb ground beef, 1/4 lb ground pork)



grated pamesan cheese

minced garlic

1 egg


minced onion

*except for the meat, I do not give amounts. It is entirely up to your tastes. I like a lot of cheese and onion; others may not


Combine all. Roll the size of very large grapes or very small ping pong balls. Fry in small amount of olive oil. Well brown all sides so that meatballs do not fall apart in boiling soup. Drain on paper towels.  Add to simmering soup.



Reader Comments (1)

Yum! I'd cheat and use a smoked sausage (kielbasa maybe?) instead of meatballs, but I will make this!

April 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHavi

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