An Italian Bowl of Luck

How about a bowl of luck? Eat lentils on New Years Eve 2021!

My mother Maria would tell us to eat lentils on New Years Eve. Why you ask? The answer is very simple, because her mother Luisa said that it is an Italian tradition in Naples. Just as Food and Love is the same thing, so are Lentils and good luck.


Each year my mother Maria would make a big pot of lentils on New Year’s eve. She would take out a big stock pot and start simmering lots of chopped onions, carrots and Celery (mirepoix) with either pancetta (Italian bacon) or Italian sausage for flavor. Once the sausage was

 browned and the onions translucent, she would remove the sausage and serve it later on the side. Then she would add homemade chicken broth, cleaned lentils (she would stand over a colander cleaning the lentils to make sure there were no little pebbles mixed in), strips of canned pomodoro tomatoes, and cubes of cleaned potatoes. I am not sure what made her lentil soup taste so delicious, 

Was it was her singing over the simmering stock pot? Or the shared memories of her mother making this special traditional dish? 

Today we want to share this family tradition with you. With a vegetarian twist on her original recipe… no sausage or pancetta.

We make it purely vegetarian, using freshly make vegetable stock, and only fresh local vegetables with cleaned lentils. 

Being the inquisitive kid that I am, I researched in many of my mothers cookbooks (pre internet) why Italians eat lentils on New Years.

The lentils, with their coinlike shape, represent luck and prosperity.

We all need a big yummy bowl of lentils to warm our tummies and our hearts with hope of a better year to come. Food and Love, Same Thing.

Wishing you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Hopeful for 2022

Maddy Alfano