Lentil-and-Pancetta Soup

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Pancetta (pan-CHEH-tuh), an Italian bacon that's cured with salt and other spices, contributes a unique flavor to this soup. Regular bacon can be substituted, although it has a smokier taste. Unprocessed kernels of wheat, or wheat berries, are sold in health food stores with other hot cereals.
9 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


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1 cup uncooked wheat berries
7 cups water
1 cup dried lentils
3/4 cup chopped pancetta (about 3 ounces) or 3 bacon slices, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
4 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard (about 6 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Place wheat berries in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Cover; let stand 1 hour. Drain well; return wheat berries to pan.

Cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cook over medium-low heat, partially covered, 45 minutes or until tender. Drain; set aside.

Combine 7 cups water and lentils in pan. Bring to a boil; partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Add pancetta, and simmer 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain the lentil mixture in a colander over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; sauté 8 minutes. Add Swiss chard, and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add reserved cooking liquid, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in wheat berries and lentil mixture; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Note: Each serving provides 99 micrograms of folate.

Created date

May 2004

Nutritional Information

Calories 216
Caloriesfromfat 29 %
Fat 7 g
Satfat 2.2 g
Monofat 3.3 g
Polyfat 0.9 g
Protein 10.5 g
Carbohydrate 29.9 g
Fiber 4.2 g
Cholesterol 6 mg
Iron 3.1 mg
Sodium 247 mg
Calcium 30 mg