I had the pleasure of working at Eataly in NYC a few months after it opened. It was a totally incredible experience. I got to work with people from all around world, tasted amazing products both from Italy and New York. It was constantly busy, ever changing and busting at the seams. Did I mention I was also a sommelier so my day consisted of drinking (tasting) wine? Yes, my entire day was consumed (literally and figuratively) in wine.
However, I would say the best part of about working at Eataly was the food that we served in the restaurants. It’s hard for me to verbalize how good the food was (still is) at Eataly. There are so many recipes I cook today that are based on dishes I learned how to make while at Eataly.
This particular recipe for Black Lentil Soup is from the restaurant Le Verdure, which means “Vegetables” in Italian. Le Verdure was the hidden gem of Eataly. No one really wanted to eat there. I mean yes, there were all those vegetarians and vegan that were excited about a “Vegetable” restaurant but the average customer at Eataly wanted to eat at Pizza/Pasta. Because pizza and pasta is “real” Italian food. Please note: anyone that’s been to Italy (the actual country) knows there is so much more to Italian food than pizza and pasta. But that’s another post in itself.
As I was saying, Le Verdure is the hidden gem of Eataly. The food there is simply delicious, seasonal and always changing. They had a rotation of seasonal soups and my most favorite was the Black Lentil Soup. Perfectly simple and unadulterated. I ate it every time it was on the menu and would take any leftovers home at the end of the day. Oh yeah, Eataly makes all their soups fresh daily. I couldn’t get enough of this Black Lentil Soup so, I sat down with Sous Chef one day and asked how they made it (for staff training of course). The Sous Chef explained it was made with a basic mirepoix or in Italian sofrito (onions, carrots, celery), garlic, black “beluga” lentils and vegetable stock. That was it. The end.