New Year’s Eve Lentil Soup

Posted by Roz Corieri Paige on Nov 22, 2021 6:00:00 AM

An Italian tradition brings good luck all year long


Italians can be a superstitious people, but they certainly know how to live! One tradition is to enjoy a bowl of lentil soup on New Year’s Eve as the clocks strike midnight—this will bring good luck and prosperity all year long, many believe.

Lentil soup closeup

While an ancient tradition, this recipe nonetheless uses a modern Instant Pot-style pressure cooker, making it an easy one-pot recipe that takes only minutes instead of hours.


Learn more about this soup and the traditions:


New Year’s Eve Lentil Soup


2 cups lentils, rinsed twice in a colander under cold water

  • 6 cups chicken broth (3 tall containers, not the cans)
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for sautéing 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. each dried oregano and dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup freshly minced basil
  • 1 12-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, crushed with your hands (or buy it already diced/chopped)
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed well, and chopped
  • 2 rinds of Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 short sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, pass around to guests



  • Rinse the lentils in cold water in a colander. 
  • Drizzle olive oil into the Instant Pot-style cooker and set to ‘SAUTE’.  When oil is hot, add the chopped pancetta and sauté’ 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  'Sauté'.  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 lentils, parsley, spinach, seasonings, and cheese rinds.
  • Place the lid on with the release valve set to 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 valve to “VENTING” (a little bit at a time). Once done, remove the lid and stir gently.
  • Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
  • SERVE with freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, pass around to guests.
  • Buon Appetito!

Delicious New Year's Eve lentil soup

About the author

Roz Corieri Paige is the author of La Bella Vita Cucina, a food and lifestyle blog where she inspires others to live life more deliciously and beautifully, whether in the kitchen or the garden. Find out more about Roz at


Tags: Country Kitchen


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