Monday, April 19, 2010

Lentil with Macaroni and Swiss Chard Soup

This flavorful and filling soup, chock-full of vegetables, lentils, and pasta, needs only some crusty bread to become a meal. And there's enough to enjoy another day.


1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium onion, chopped
2 clove(s) garlic, crushed with garlic press
1 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces) whole tomatoes in puree
1 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
3/4 cup(s) lentils, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

1/2 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon(s) dried thyme
1 bunch(es) (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, trimmed and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup(s) (about 3 1/2 ounces) elbow macaroni
1 cup(s) fresh basil leaves, chopped
Grated Parmesan cheese, (optional)


In nonstick 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add carrots, onion, and garlic, and cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and golden, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes with their puree, broth, lentils, salt, pepper, thyme, and 6 cups water; heat to boiling, stirring to break up tomatoes with side of spoon. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are almost tender.

Stir in Swiss chard and macaroni; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Stir in basil. Serve with Parmesan if you like.

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