Rachel Roddy’s Roman Lentil and Tomato Soup Recipe | Food

There is a low wall behind the bar that plays loud music at Pyramid Subway station. It’s also a shady wall and away from traffic so if you like Cher remixes it’s a good place to rest or grab a sandwich.

The other day I passed by and an old man had wax paper spread out on the wall and, working with a miniature pen knife, cut a whole melon, discarding the rind and seeds as he went into a bowl near his cart, then each orange. moon with a slice of prosciutto. It occurred to me to stop and say something before catching my train, about his skills and how good it looked, scattered there like a picture. Someone else, a young man, did say something: “e un buon matrimono‘ — it’s a good marriage (the melon and the prosciutto) — and the melon-cutter agreed.

The idea of ​​happy marriages in food stuck in my head, which is far from an original idea, but a good and useful idea to spend time on the train. What is it about the marriage of melon and prosciutto? Contrast, baby! The cool, sweet softness of the melon, the dry, salty tear of the pork. And they’re a pair that fits anywhere, whether that’s a chic table or a low wall. One marriage leads to another: melon and prosciutto, prosciutto and figs, figs and white pizza, white pizza and sausages, sausages and lentils, lentils and tomato… a lentil-tomato soup, with cheese croutons.

While it’s never not soup time, it is definitely soup time now. This has less to do with the weather, which is unpredictable as ever, but more with the fact that large pots of soup are easy to make, eager to please, and easy to roll in the next day, which I like as we roll the into autumn.

Lentils are great, useful and good. Rich in protein, fiber and several members of the periodic table – phosphorus, magnesium and iron – lentils are also a valuable ingredient. They also cook in 30-40 minutes and do not require soaking. (However, soaking them in cold water for a few hours will soften them up a bit, reducing their cooking time and your energy bill).

This is a basic recipe with additions that lift. The addition of anchovies is optional. A few fillets dissolved in the onion, celery, and carrot soffritto provide a deep, salty seasoning, which somehow seems more meaty than fishy. Unless you’re an anchovy hater, in which case you can probably spot one from miles away. Instead, you could add a rind of Parmesan cheese, ideally with the last cheese attached.

Lentil-tomato soup

Preparation 5 minutes
Cook 50 minutes
Serves 4

6 tablespoons olive oil-
1 onion
peeled and cut into cubes
1 celery stalkpeeled and cut into cubes
1 carrotpeeled and cut into cubes
A few anchovies
y fillets (optional)
300g brown lentils
500 g peeled, peeled tomatoes
(fresh or canned)
3-4 sage leaves
parmesan peel (alternative to anchovies)
Cubes of bread, salt
olive oil and grated Parmesan cheeseto make croutons

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and add the onion, celery and a pinch of salt. Bake until they are soft and translucent. Now, and only if you like them, add a few anchovy fillets and stir until dissolved in the vegetables.

Add the lentils, stir until shimmering with oil, then add the tomato and sage. Simmer for a minute, then add 1.3 liters of water and the parmesan zest (but only if you didn’t use anchovies).

Bring to a gentle simmer, then simmer for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and have a thick consistency (you don’t want it to get stiff; if the soup seems too thick, add a little more water). Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Rub the bread with olive oil and bake or fry them (in which case you may need a little more oil) until they are golden brown. Sprinkle the croutons with some grated Parmesan cheese and divide between bowls of the hot soup.