Lentil Minestra with Crispy Sage & Fontina-Walnut Toast

Lentil Minestra

with Crispy Sage & Fontina-Walnut Toast

30 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Minestra is a soup that dates back centuries—originally it was served (or “administered,” from the Latin “ministrare”) in households from one big bowl or pot. Today “minestra” broadly describes a pasta, vegetable or legume soup, typically smoother than minestrone. We’re going with creamy lentils here, complemented in texture by crispy sage and a side of special toast: walnuts, melty Fontina cheese and sharp Parmesan all combine to create the perfect topping for toasted baguette.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Lentil Minestra with Crispy Sage & Fontina-Walnut Toast
Title
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Slice the baguette in half lengthwise. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Peel the carrot and thinly slice into rounds. Halve the fennel; remove and discard the core. Small dice the fennel. Thinly slice the celery. Peel and small dice the onion. Pick the sage leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Roughly chop the walnuts. Thinly slice the Fontina cheese.

Crisp the sage:
2 Crisp the sage:

In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sage in a single, even layer; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until dark green and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving any remaining oil in the pot; season the sage with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Start the minestra:
3 Start the minestra:

Heat the pot of reserved oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic, carrot, fennel, celery and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomato paste is dark red and fragrant.

Finish the minestra:
4 Finish the minestra:

Add the lentils and 4½ cups of water to the pot of vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Heat the mixture to boiling on high. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, 18 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Make the Fontina-walnut toast:
5 Make the Fontina-walnut toast:

While the lentils cook, place the sliced baguette halves on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Top with the Fontina cheese, walnuts and half of the Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven 7 to 9 minutes, or until the Fontina cheese has melted and the walnuts are lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Divide the finished minestra between 2 bowls. Serve with the Fontina-walnut toast on the side. Garnish the lentils and toast with the crispy sage and remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Slice the baguette in half lengthwise. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Peel the carrot and thinly slice into rounds. Halve the fennel; remove and discard the core. Small dice the fennel. Thinly slice the celery. Peel and small dice the onion. Pick the sage leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Roughly chop the walnuts. Thinly slice the Fontina cheese.

2 Crisp the sage:

In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sage in a single, even layer; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until dark green and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving any remaining oil in the pot; season the sage with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Crisp the sage:
Start the minestra:
3 Start the minestra:

Heat the pot of reserved oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic, carrot, fennel, celery and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomato paste is dark red and fragrant.

4 Finish the minestra:

Add the lentils and 4½ cups of water to the pot of vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Heat the mixture to boiling on high. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, 18 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Finish the minestra:
Make the Fontina-walnut toast:
5 Make the Fontina-walnut toast:

While the lentils cook, place the sliced baguette halves on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Top with the Fontina cheese, walnuts and half of the Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven 7 to 9 minutes, or until the Fontina cheese has melted and the walnuts are lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place.

6 Plate your dish:

Divide the finished minestra between 2 bowls. Serve with the Fontina-walnut toast on the side. Garnish the lentils and toast with the crispy sage and remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Plate your dish:
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