Lentil Soup with Veggies and Pasta


1 cup of lentils, rinsed
1 cup of spaghetti or fettuccine broken into small pieces (or use small pastina)
1 carrot, diced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 celery stalk, diced
3 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped (you can substitute about 1 teaspoon dried herbs if you don't have fresh. I used Italian seasonings)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1, 10.5 ounce can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese for garnish
1-2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled into small pieces (or about 1/4 cup cooked pancetta)


Add 4 cups of water (or enough to cover the lentils plus about 2 extra inches) and the lentils to a medium-sized, deep saute pan over medium heat. Cook with the lid just slightly off the pan, for about 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are almost tender.
Meanwhile, if you're using bacon (or pancetta), add it to a saute pan and cook over medium-high heat until done. When cooled, crumble the bacon into small pieces and set aside.
In a large, deep saute pan over low-to-medium heat, add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion, carrots, garlic and celery and cook until almost soft. Add the tomato sauce, parsley, cream of mushroom or celery soup, 3 cups of water, and salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta, lower the heat and cook until the pasta is tender.
Drain your lentils when they're almost soft and add them to the pasta and cook, uncovered, for another 10-15 minutes until they're soft. Add the red pepper flakes and adjust the seasonings to your taste. If you think your soup should be a bit creamier, make a roux (I used 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour and that was sufficient) and slowly whisk it into the lentil and pasta mixture and make sure it's incorporated into the soup. If you like it thinner, add a bit more water. Add your bacon or pancetta if your using it and mix it into the soup.
When you're ready to serve, add to individual bowls and sprinkle with fresh grated Romano cheese.


No heavy lifting behind cooking with lentils! The beauty of this recipe is that you can pretty much add whatever vegetables and seasonings you have available and it’ll likely be delicious. My mom sometimes uses leftover mashed potatoes instead of the cream of mushroom (or celery) soup, and adds a bit of milk to thin them in place of the water. I once used salsa when I was out of tomato sauce. It worked out really well! This version is a bit thick, but you can thin it out w/ vegetable stock and/or water if you prefer.

Other Names:

Lentil Soup


6-8 Servings


Friday, November 11, 2011 - 1:01pm


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