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Lentil and Borragine Soup -- Minestra di Lenticchie e Borragine


Lentil and Borragine Soup, or Minestra di Lenticchie e Borragine: Borragine is a wild grass whose stalks and leaves are covered with fine white hairs. It's used in Liguria, where it figures prominently in preboggion (a mixture of wild herbs and grasses), and Campania, where it's generally cooked with lentils. It's invariably cooked because the hairs would make it unpleasant raw. In the absence of borragine use spinach or beet greens; the results won't be quite the same but will be good.

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes


  • 1 pound (400 g) green lentils
  • 1/2 pound (200 g) borragine (substitute with spinach or chard if need be)
  • 1/2 pound (200 g) blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (canned will work)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Slices of toasted bread


Soak the lentils overnight. Then drain them, and put them in a pot with fresh cold water to cover. Bring them to a boil, cover the pot, and simmer them until done, about an hour.

While they're cooking wash the borragine and chop it coarsely. When the lentils are done stir in the borragine, tomatoes, and oil. Stir repeatedly, check seasoning, and serve hot, over the slices of toasted bread.

The wine? A Vesuvio Bianco might be nice.

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