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"There's no better way to show your family love and comfort than by offering them a bowl of this piping hot, brothy Italian soup," says Curtis. "Diced root vegetables are sautéed until slightly crunchy, then broth and lentils are added and simmer away just until the lentils are tender. Finish the soup with crispy pancetta, drizzles of extra-virgin olive oil and grated Pecorino, and then serve it with garlicky croutons."
Curtis' Make-Ahead Tip: Soup can be made up to 2 days in advance, then covered and refrigerated.
In case you didn't know, Chef Curtis Stone has a restaurant in L.A. called Maude — and the inspiration behind the 10-course menu there often comes from visiting wine regions (like Tuscany!). With his show "Field Trip With Curtis Stone," Curtis is taking you along for the ride.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 ounces pancetta, finely diced
- ½ yellow onion, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
- 1 large parsnip (about 5 ounces), peeled, inner core removed, diced
- 1 small turnip (about 6 ounces), peeled and diced
- 4 garlic cloves, 3 finely chopped, 1 whole and peeled
- 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup dried green lentils (7 ounces)
- 4 leaves Tuscan kale or regular kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- One 14-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces ciabatta bread, cut diagonally into six ¾-inch-thick slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- One 1-ounce piece Pecorino cheese, for grating
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and pancetta and sauté until pancetta is crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a plate. To same pot, add onion, carrots, parsnip, turnip and chopped garlic. Reduce heat to medium and sauté until vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes.
Add broth, lentils and kale and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until lentils begin to soften but are still slightly firm in the center, about 15 minutes. Add the beans and continue simmering until lentils are tender but not bursting apart, about 3 minutes. Remove pot from heat and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of bread with olive oil and cook until toasted, about 2 minutes per side. Rub whole garlic clove over warm bread.
Divide soup among 6 bowls and sprinkle with pancetta. Grate some Pecorino over, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve with bread.