Lentils soup

The Castelluccio Lentils from Valnerina Umbria

The Castelluccio Lentils from Valnerina

From the Valnerina region emerges an ancient and prized treasure, boasting remarkable nutritional qualities and a distinctive flavor.

The Castelluccio di Norcia lentil, proudly bearing the IGP mark, finds its roots in the Castelluccio plain for cultivation. However, the geographical scope of the Protected Geographical Indication extends to adjacent areas in the Marche region, within the Sibillini Mountains National Park, situated at an elevation of around 1,500 meters above sea level.

Characterized by its diminutive size, this lentil stands out for its minimal need for preservation treatments, thanks to the naturally cool temperatures of its environment. Its unique flavor, attributed to its soft consistency and thin skin, adds to its allure.

A remarkable feature that endears it to many is the fact that the lentil flowers, appearing in white and light blue hues, contribute to the spectacular annual bloom of Castelluccio between May and July—a natural wonder that draws thousands of visitors.
The Castelluccio di Norcia lentil is not just a culinary delight but also a cultural and visual spectacle, intertwining tradition and natural beauty.

resenting a snapshot from the Piana di Castelluccio, a plateau nestled in the Umbria-Marche Apennines, renowned for its concentrated lentil production. This picturesque region is situated in Valnerina, near the charming city of Norcia.

What truly sets this area apart is the breathtaking Flowering phenomenon that graces the landscape from late May to July, painting the entire expanse with vibrant hues of poppies, cornflowers, daisies, and, of course, lentils.

Located approximately 100km from my farm, this region is in the itinerary of the Seasonal Tour  BLACK TRUFFLE FESTIVAL scheduled from 20th to 24th February 2024.

If you’re interested, don’t hesitate—reach out now for more information and secure your spot in this unforgettable experience.

My Recipe with Castelluccio lentils: Umbrian lentils soup

For a delightful lentil dish serving four, gather the following ingredients: 200g of lentils, 1 onion, half a stalk of celery, extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 5 ripe tomatoes, 1 bay leaf, parsley, 1 sprig of rosemary, and 3 sage leaves.

Begin by meticulously rinsing the lentils in a bowl, ensuring you remove any impurities. Once cleaned, drain the lentils and transfer them to a pot with fresh, cold water. Allow them to cook for approximately 20 minutes from the point when the water starts boiling. It’s crucial to introduce a pinch of salt only towards the end of the cooking process, ensuring the lentils are tender and compact.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, initiate a sauté with finely chopped onion, garlic, and celery. Introduce the diced tomatoes, adding a dash of salt, bay leaf, rosemary sprig, sage, and a pinch of parsley. Let this aromatic medley simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. When the cooking is complete, remove the bay leaf and pass the concoction through a food mill with small holes.

Now, amalgamate this rich, flavorful sauce with the cooked lentils and their broth. Stir thoroughly until a soup-like consistency is achieved.

Allow the amalgamation to marinate for a few minutes before serving, imparting time for the flavors to harmonize. Drizzle a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil over the dish and crown it with a handful of croutons for that perfect finishing touch. Your heartwarming lentil soup is ready to be savored

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