David Rocco warms up with Tomato Lentil Soup

(NC) — No one knows the ins and outs of cooking with tomatoes better than celebrity chef David Rocco. As a “Tommalier” – a tomato expert – Rocco uses tomatoes as the base ingredient for the freshest, most flavourful dishes, from sauces to soups and stews. When selecting the best tomatoes for a memorable meal, Rocco advises cooks need not feel guilty for using canned tomatoes or tomato paste – the tomato harvest season is short in Canada, and the ones in the can are picked at their peak so they're ripe and flavourful. Tomatoes form the base of David Rocco's warming soup, a deliciously simple one-pot meal ready to serve in a little over 20 minutes. David Rocco's Tomato and Lentil Soup Ingredients: 4 tbsp (56 ml) extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 2 fresh chili peppers, chopped 2 cans (28 oz/796 ml) peeled plum tomatoes, such as Hunt's Original Diced Tomatoes 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) lentils, drained and rinsed Salt, QB Pepper, QB 1 tbsp of tomato paste, such as Hunt's Original Tomato Paste Water Directions 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. Pour in the diced tomatoes. 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 an inch above the lentils; stir well. Bring to a boil, then lower to medium heat and cook for 20 minutes until the soup has thickened. Hunt's Tommalier 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.


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