Italian Comfort Soup

I work in a clinic at my school which means that I spend a lot of time in the clinic office.  I really love it because it allows me to have semi-privacy for studying while still having a steady stream of people to chat with.  I’m of the strange study variety where I need something in between complete silence and cozy, chatty coffee shop.  The clinic office is the perfect halfway.  It even has a big ol’ water bottle where I can get constant hot water for tea!

The only downside is that it is freezing.  I swear when you walk from the office to the hallway outside there is a five or ten degree difference.  It’s crazy.  I just sucked it up for the first few weeks and shivered while I worked, one hand constantly wrapped around my decreasingly warm mug of tea.  Finally, though, enough was enough.   It was time to bring in the blanket.


I am notorious for bringing blankets with me to offices.  I had one for most of my stint at Northwestern this summer because my office was an absolute freezer.  Supervising attorneys would always comment on it when they came to give me assignments and I’d just nod in agreement, clutching my blanket.  The warmth greatly outweighed any potential backlash for having a blanket in my office.  Eight or nine hours of shivering straight is too much.


So, let’s talk about this soup.  When I cooked this up a few days ago it ended up being more of a stew than a soup, which is why I said to add more broth or water as you think necessary.  The original recipe said to add 8 cups of stock, which I thought was a typo, but now I’m not so sure.  Either way, if you’re getting near the end of the cook time and it’s looking a little more like a stew than soup, add some extra broth!

Italian Comfort Soup



3 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 carrots, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 onion, chopped

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, more as needed

juice of 3 lemons

3-4 unpeeled red potatoes, cubed

1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and chopped

2 15-ounce cans lentils (or 1 cup dry lentils)

parmesan cheese


pinch of red pepper flakes


In a large stock pot heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the broth into the stock pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes.  If you are using dry lentil, add them in the last ten minutes here.

Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes.  Next, add the kale and canned lentils, if using, and let cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Finish with the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve garnished with some parmesan.

Source:  Slightly adapted from Lea Michele’s Brunette Ambition


18 thoughts on “Italian Comfort Soup

  1. Girl–I worked in a clinic this summer and it was FREEZING there too. Also, it was in the basement and there were no windows. Sigh. This soup looks like a great way to warm up in a cold office–I love the kale-potato-cheese-lentil combo. Healthy, filling, and comforting!

  2. I am seriously always cold at work! I have three sweaters (various levels of thickness) that I leave at work and multiple mugs for hot teas. Love this soup! I need to have it with me at work daily!

  3. yay, soup! And I like a mix of social and not so much, too. I sometimes work at a client’s office and two of the ladies in cubes behind me are always wrapped in blankets. Your soul sisters 😉

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