In my family's table back in Venezuela there is never a day without soup. Even when is hot outside you will find a nice bowl of soup, usually any vegetable or bean soup like this one. This lentil soup can be made with either pasta, or cubed potatoes, choose what you like most. I like it sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
- 1/2 lb brown dry lentils, about 2 cups
- 7 cups of water (or more if the soup gets too dry)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup any shape of pasta, like shells or macaroni
Pick any dirt or stones that can be in the lentils and wash them. In a big pot mix the lentils and the water, bring them to a boil and then reduce to medium. Cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. In a sauteed pan add the olive oil and onions, cook until translucent for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, peppers and cumin and cook for 10 more minutes, season with salt and pepper. Mix the onion mixture into the softened lentils and cook for about 30 more minutes over medium heat. Adjust seasonings and add the pasta, adding more water if it gets too dry. Cook until the pasta is done, and do a final adjustment of the salt (the pasta will absorb some of the salt in the soup, that's why you have to do a last minute adjustment). Serve with some parmesan cheese if you like, and some crusty bread to dunk in the soup. Delicious!