This is one of Deborah Madison's(of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone cookbook fame) favorite soup recipes of all time. It's even better the second day! Add the cooked pasta and greens just before serving so the retain their color and texture. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus extra oil to finish)
- 2 cups onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 carrots, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- freshly gorund black pepper
- 1 cup french green lentil, picked through, rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 parsley sprigs (may use just stems)
- 8 fresh thyme sprigs
- 9 cups water (or vegetable stock)
- soy sauce (mushroom soy sauce recommended)
- 1 bunch greens (mustard, chard, spinach, or brocolli rabe)
- 2 cups cooked small shell pasta (shells, orecchiette, or your favorite)
- parmesan cheese, thinly shaved
- Heat the oil in a wide soup pot with the onions. Saute over high heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, parsley, garlic, vegetables, and 2 teaspoons salt and cook 3 minutes more.
- Add the lentils, bay leaves, parsley and thyme sprigs, and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
- Taste for salt and season with pepper to taste. If it needs more depth, add soy sauce to taste, starting with 1 tbls. The soup may seem a little bland at this point, but the flavors will come together when the soup is finished. Remove the bay leaves, parsley and thyme sprigs.
- Boil the greens in salted water until they are tender and bright green, then chop them coarsely.
- When ready to serve, add the greens and pasta to the soup and heat through.
- Serve with extra virgin olive oil drizzled into each bowl, a generous grind of black pepper, and the shaved Parmesan cheese.
I love lentils and this was an excellent vegetarian dinner. It was served with shaved parmesan and gluten free corn muffins. I did not have the tomato paste but tossed in a handful of sun-dried tomatoes. I used gluten free penne pasta. The soup was delicious the next day for lunch. Thanks Sharon for another great recipe.