An easy soup from the Food Network star.
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 fresh chili peppers, chopped
2 cans (14 oz.) tomatoes, such as Hunt's Original Diced Tomatoes
1 can (19 oz.) lentils, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp of tomato paste, such as Hunt's Original Tomato Paste
Step 1: In a saucepan, heat olive oil. Add garlic, parsley and chili peppers and sauté for a few minutes until the garlic has started to turn golden.
Step 2: Pour in the diced tomatoes with the juice right from the tin. With the back of a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes into little chunks. You can decide the consistency. Then add in the rinsed lentils, salt and pepper. Add tomato paste, and then add water about 1/2" above the lentils. Bring to a boil, then lower to medium heat and cook for 20 minutes until the soup has thickened.
Tip: It's a tradition to make tomato lentil soup with sausage on New Year's Day as it is supposed to bring good luck for the year ahead. For a heartier version that does not betray the soup's cucina povera roots, break up some sausage and let it slightly brown, just before you add in the tomatoes.