Rita’s Sardinian Lentil Soup

La Zuppa di Lenticchie di Rita

Rita d’Enza, owner of the restaurant and inn Gallura in Olbia, gave me this delicious Sardinian lentil soup recipe. The Sardinian greens she used are not available here, so I use mustard greens instead.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total time from start to finish: 1 hour


  • 2 small sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 8 ounces mustard greens
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces lentils ( cups)
  • 6 cups homemade meat broth or ½ each beef and chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 6 cups water


  1. Peel, halve, and thinly slice the onions lengthwise. Put the onions and olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot and place over medium-high heat. Season with salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until the onion is wilted, about 5 minutes.
  2. While the onion is sautéing, peel and finely chop the garlic. Coarsely chop the mustard greens.
  3. When the onion is done, add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté for about 1 minute, then add the mustard greens. Season with salt and fairly generously with black pepper. Cook until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes, then add the lentils and broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the soup simmers and cook until the lentils are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot.


You can make the soup up to 2 hours ahead of time without refrigerating it. The mustard greens will not taste the same if kept longer.