Italian New Year's Eve Lentils

Daniel Rinaldi


If you do not add cheese to your soup you might want to add a little more salt during cooking.Traditionally Italian families have lentils in some form on New Year's Eve. One of the beliefs behind this is that the lentils are shaped like little coins and by eating lentils at Midnight on New Year's Eve it's supposed to bring you prosperity in the new year.


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25 Min
2 Hr 30 Min
Stove Top


  • 1/4 c
    olive oil
  • 4
    fresh ham hocks
  • 1 medium
    peeled yellow onion
  • 4 clove
    peeled garlic
  • 3
    carrots (cut into thirds)
  • 3 stalk(s)
    celery (cut into thirds)
  • 8 sprig(s)
    italian flat leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbsp
    kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp
    kosher salt
  • 3/4 Tbsp
    fresh ground pepper
  • 2
    bay leaves
  • 3 quarts+2
  • 1 lb
  • 3/4 c
    long grain rice, uncooked
  • 2-8 ounce can(s)
    hunts tomato sauce
  • ·
    pecorino romano cheese

How to Make Italian New Year's Eve Lentils


  1. 1) Put oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Put in the ham hocks meat side down and cook until brown. Then add all the vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook for ten minutes.
  2. 2) Add water to the pot and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil reduce to a simmer, and cover, then cook for 1 hour.
  3. 3) After an hour of cooking time add the lentils and cook for another hour.
  4. 4) While the lentils are cooking, cook the rice according to the package directions and set aside.
  5. 5) Once the lentils have finished cooking remove and discard the herbs and vegetables.
  6. 6) Remove the ham hocks and shred all the meat and add to the soup.
  7. 7) Add the rice and tomato sauce to the soup and cook for five minutes, then shut the heat. You might have to break up some clumps of rice with the back of a spoon, but they will come apart easily.

Printable Recipe Card

About Italian New Year's Eve Lentils

Course/Dish: Bean Soups
Main Ingredient: Beans/Legumes
Regional Style: Italian
Other Tag: Healthy

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