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Easy Lentil and Macaroni Soup

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

Serves 8-10

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

  1. Heat large pot over medium heat. Add anchovy, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir as anchovy melts and mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes with juice and stir. Let cook about five minutes as juices simmer. Add lentils and parmesan rind, if using. Stir well.
  4. Add broth and thyme sprigs and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, lid off.
  5. Add macaroni and simmer an additional 8 minutes.
  6. Add vinegar and cheese and stir well. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed.
  7. Serve with crushed red pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and additional cheese.