Viglia Capodanno, New Year’s Eve, is celebrated throughout Italy with family and friends enjoying food and drink.
The drink is bubbly Prosecco and the food is symbolic of wishes for a good year ahead. Lentils, with their coin-like shape, have traditionally been believed to ring in a prosperous new year.
Auguri per un nuovo anno sano, felice e prospera!
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed, drained
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup leek, white part (a little light green is ok)
- 1/2 cup carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 -2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chickpeas (rinsed and drained if using canned)
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- Cut the root end off the leek and remove the dark green stalk. Cut in half lengthwise and rinse well. Now, cut each half lengthwise and then cut into thin slices.
- Heat the olive oil and saute leeks for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the carrots and celery and cook 3 minutes before stirring in the garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the lentils, broth, 1 cup of the water, basil and salt and then bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the chickpeas, fresh lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley. If the soup is too thick to your liking, add the other cup of water. Season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with a lemon slice or two and chopped parsley.
Good wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!