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Italian Lentil Soup New Year's Tradition

Italian Lentil Soup

  • Author: Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina


This is a very traditional soup that Italians enjoy for ringing in the new year!  It’s absolutely delicious too!  But hey, we all need a little bit more good health and good fortune too!





  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed twice in a colander under cold water
  • 6 cups chicken broth (3 tall containers, not the cans)
  • 1 vegetable bouillion cube
  • 23 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for sauteing the soffrito
  • 8 oz. pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves attached, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, stems removed, washed, and minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup freshly minced basil
  • 1 12-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), crushed with your hands (or buy it already diced/chopped)
  • 1 small 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves or escarole, rinsed well and chopped
  • (optional) pinch of hot red pepper flakes (peperoncini)
  • 2 rinds of parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 short sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage links,(or spicy hot sausage if you prefer) cut into slices (to serve alongside the soup on New Year’s)
  • salt and pepper
  • (optional) pinch of red pepper flakes 
  • Serve with:  freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, pass around to guests




  • Rinse the lentils in cold water in a colander.  Umbrian lentils are so tiny that a paper towel or thin towel is necessary to prevent them from falling through the holes of the colander.
  • Drizzle olive oil into the Instant Pot and set it to ‘SAUTE’.  The Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes to pre-heat. 
  • When the olive oil is hot, add the chopped pancetta and saute’ for 2 minutes.
  • Add the soffrito of onions, carrots, and celery.  Stir.
  • Cook, stirring often, until the onions, carrots, and celery are semi-soft, for about 2 minutes.
  • Turn off Saute.  Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, and bouillon cube.
  • Set the Instant Pot to ‘SOUP’ and bring everything to a boil.
  • Add the lentils, parsley, spinach/escarole, seasonings, and cheese rinds.
  • Place the lid on and make sure that the release valve is in the “sealing” position.
  • Press the ‘MANUAL’ button and set the time for 10 minutes.  The Instant Pot will pre-heat for 10 minutes and then begin to cook.
  • After 10 minutes, quick-release by flipping the release value to “VENTING” (a little bit at a time).
  • Once venting is complete, remove the lid and stir gently.
  • Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste preferences if desired.
  • SERVE!
  • Buon Appetito!