Lentil Soup is so hearty, flavorful and healthy that I wonder why I don’t make it more often. Two out of three of my kids even asked for seconds when I served this for dinner the other night, and I was thrilled. Lentils are filled with protein and fiber as well as iron, minerals and B vitamins. Lentils come in three main varieties: brown, green and red. Most grocery stores carry brown lentils, usually dried. Green and red lentils may be found at specialty food markets. Unlike other legumes, lentils cook quickly without pre-soaking. Just make sure to rinse away any dirt, dust or debris before adding them to recipes.
1 hour, 15 minutes
4 to 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
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 low-salt chicken broth
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 cup dried elbow pasta
1. Heat oil in a heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Simmer until the juices evaporate, 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.
2. Stir in the pasta. Simmer until the pasta is tender, about 8 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls.