Simple Lentil Soup with Pasta
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!
Pairs Well With
This, 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).