Before you begin cooking, I would advise soaking the lentils for a minimum of 2 hours. This helps them become more digestible and they will also cook quicker.
To start the soup, make a soffritto. A soffritto is the the way that a lot of Italian dishes are started with diced carrots, celery and onions. Cooked slowly, these foundational vegetables begin the dish with a huge amount of flavour. Start the dish like this, and you're bound to finish with a delicious bowl or plate of something.
The trick is to not rush the soffritto, cook it on a low temperature for about 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and sweet.
When the soffritto is ready, add the garlic and rosemary if you are using it and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring so that the garlic doesn't burn.
Drain the lentils and add them, followed by the vegetable stock. Bring the lentils to a simmer and cook until the lentils are soft, adding more stock along the way if you need to. Season with salt and pepper.
While the lentils are cooking make the parsley yogurt. Mix the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper and finely chopped parsley.
Once the lentils are cooked, the soup is ready. Serve it with a dollop of the parsley yogurt on top and a slice of toast.
200g brown lentils
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
800ml vegetable stock (or more depending on how much liquid you want in your soup)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 white onion
1-2 medium carrots
3 sticks celery
3 tablespoons natural yogurt
30g fresh parsley, finely chopped
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Salt and pepper for seasoning