Hungarian tradition holds it that if you eat lentils – a symbol of money coming your way for the coming year – on 1 January, abundance in all worldly goods will accompany you in the New Year. As is the case with all household recipes, the number of varieties is countless and every family has its own way of preparing the dish, such as adding smoked meat or sausage. Below is the vegetarian variety – this wholesome dish is so filling it can be served as a main dish and a large bowl of six to eight servings will set you back no more than around HUF 1000 (EUR 3). Enjoy and have a happy and successful New Year!
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 2 large onions, cubed
– 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
– 3 carrots, diced
– 2 stalks of celery, diced
– 3 1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes
– 1 1/2 cups of lentils – soaked, rinced and drained
– 1/2 teaspoon of salt
– 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
– 3/4 cup of white wine
– 2 bay leaves
– 7 cups of chicken stock
– 1 sprig of fresh parsley, chopped
– 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
– 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large stockpot, saute the onions in oil until they are glossy. Stir in garlic, paprika, celery, carrots, and saute for 10 minutes.
- Once the vegetables have sauteed for 10 minutes stir in tomatoes, chicken stock, lentils, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Stir well, then add the wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Slowly reduce the heat and cook for 1 hour on low to medium heat; or until the lentils are tender.
- Sprinkle the soup with parsley and Parmesan (optional) before serving.