Lentil Minestra with Crispy Sage & Fontina-Walnut Toast

Lentil Minestra

with Crispy Sage & Fontina-Walnut Toast

Group Created with Sketch. 30 min
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500 Calories Or Less
Mediterranean
Our Mediterranean recipes are inspired by the Mediterranean Diet, a healthy eating plan recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans to promote health and wellness, which highlights the flavors and cooking styles from countries along the Mediterranean Sea, including those in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. These recipes showcase a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, as well as lean proteins and moderate portions of dairy.
  • icon-servings Created with Sketch.
    2 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 700 Cals/serving

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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Lentil Minestra with Crispy Sage & Fontina-Walnut Toast
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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!

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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: