Italian Lentil Soup with Cheese Croûtes and Sautéed Mushrooms

Italian Lentil Soup with Cheese Croûtes and Sautéed Mushrooms

Serves 4


For the soup:

  •  4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  1 large yellow onion, chopped
  •  3 large stalks celery, chopped
  •  2 large carrots, chopped
  •  2-3 small red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  •  2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  •  2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  •  1 tablespoon dried basil
  •  1 teaspoon dried oregano
  •  1 teaspoon dried dill
  •  1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  1/2 cup white wine or sherry (optional)
  •  Parmesan rind (optional)
  •  6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  •  1 1/2 cups water
  •  1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes 
  •  1 cup dried green or brown lentils (rinsed,stones and debris discarded)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Croûtes:

  • 1 French baguette, sliced in 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

For the mushrooms:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and sauté for approximately 7 minutes until tender and the onions are golden in color.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute.
  4. Add the wine and let simmer for one minute.
  5. Add the Parmesan rind (if using), chicken or vegetable broth, water, tomatoes, potatoes, lentils,parsley, basil, oregano, dill, and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Cover the pot and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  7. While the soup is simmering, place sliced pieces of baguette on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. 
  8. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasted and slightly golden.
  10. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan or frying pan over medium-low heat.
  11. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, make sure that the mushrooms are in a single layer in the pan so that they cook evenly.
  12. Saute over low heat for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are lightly browned and tender.
  13. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and garnish with cheese croutés and sautéed mushrooms.
  14. Enjoy!
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