- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into half-moons
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 pound lentils
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 1/2 cups dried elbow pasta
- 11 cups chicken broth
- Red wine vinegar or Parmesan cheese
DirectionsHeat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper and sauté until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. 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 and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the pasta. Simmer until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves and discard. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Add a splash of red wine vinegar or sprinkle with the Parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.