- Cooking Time: 40
- Servings: Lots
- Preparation Time: 60
BackstoryThis, like a lot of soups, is a garbage soup. By that I mean: whatever you have hanging around your cupboards or in your fridge? You can dump it in here. Consider this a starting point. (Note: I use bacon and chicken stock in mine, but this easily converts to a vegetarian dish. Just skip the bacon and swap in vegetable stock).
- 5-7 slices of bacon (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 pound lentils (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
- 11 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock, if you prefer)
- 4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 cup dried pasta
- Shredded Parmesan to taste
- In a large pot over medium heat, fry bacon until crispy and fat has rendered out. Remove bacon, chop, and set aside.
- Saute onion, carrots, and celery in the bacon fat (or simply use olive oil if not including bacon).
- Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
- Add the lentils and mix to coat.
- Add the broth and stir.
- Add the thyme sprigs.
- Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.
- In a separate pot, prepare pasta according to package directions.
- Add pasta to the soup.
- Sprinkle with the Parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, and bacon.
- Serve--hot--with crusty bread!
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