Fun fact about children – if they see macaroni noodles, no matter how few, in their dinner, they’re more likely to dig in. I made this soup to bring to a woman in my Bible study who had had surgery, but it made such a big batch that we got to eat it as a family before I brought her the rest the next day. Was close to putting the word “easy” in the title and since I didnt, I’ll tell you now; it’s so dang easy. My husband declared it “heart-warming”. Nope, so close though. He settled on “soul warming” which I accepted. It did indeed warm my soul. I was given a starter for sourdough from a friend and now make loaves weekly; soup and bread go so well so we have it one or two nights a week now. I was telling Rich that with the food prices so high (to which he said, food prices are high? Oh, to be a man), this soup should be on everyone’s menu. A pound of lentils is under 3 dollars – and so full of protein and fiber. No more complaining about the grocery bill – just try a few new recipes.
Below you’ll see I use a parmesan rind. We eat pecorino romano and parmigiano regiano on the block so I always store my rinds in the freezer and toss them in soups. Adds flavor.
Easy Lentil and Macaroni Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. anchovy paste (or two anchovies)
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 large onion, diced
5-8 carrots, peeled and diced (depending on size)
5-8 stalks celery, diced (depending on size)
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 lb. lentils
10 c. chicken broth, more as needed
parmesan rind, optional
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2/3 c. dried macaroni noodles
1 tsp. white vinegar (champagne, white wine or white balsamic)
1/2 c. grated pecorino romano
Crushed red pepper, olive oil and more cheese for serving
- Heat large pot over medium heat. Add anchovy, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir as anchovy melts and mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
- Add tomatoes with juice and stir. Let cook about five minutes as juices simmer. Add lentils and parmesan rind, if using. Stir well.
- Add broth and thyme sprigs and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, lid off.
- Add macaroni and simmer an additional 8 minutes.
- Add vinegar and cheese and stir well. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed.
- Serve with crushed red pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and additional cheese.