mmmm mondays....

our neighbors have a long tradition of gifting each other "homemade" christmas gifts, and this year we received so many wonderful presents from all of the folks on our block. one of the gifts was a cutely packaged recipe and the dry ingredients for "lentil soup." i've been meaning to make the soup for weeks now, but finally got around to it today, and let me tell you, it was simple and so delicious! please forgive the pics below, because i am by no means a food photographer.

lentil soup
prep: simple
cook time: about 1 hour
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups lentils
8 cups low-salt chicken broth (plus two cups water)
4-6 fresh thyme sprigs (or 1tsp dried thyme)
1 1/2 cups dried elbow pasta
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. add the onion, carrots, and celery. add the garlic, salt, and pepper and saute until all the veggies are tender, about 5-8 minutes. add the tomatoes with their juices. simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes bread down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. add the lentils and mix to coat. add the broth and stir. add the thyme. 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, and simmer until the pasta is tender, but still firm to the bite (about 8 minutes). season with salt and pepper, to taste.

ladle the soup into bows, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and drizzle with olive oil. enjoy!

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