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Lentil Soup with Tubetti and Bacon

Yield 4
Vegetables, lentils, and pasta simmer in a broth. The soup is infused with the earthy flavors of bacon and rosemary. We use tubetti, but any small macaroni shape will work as well.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound bacon, slices cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 pound lentils (about 2 1/3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes in thick puree, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup tubetti or other small macaroni

How to Make It

  1. In a large pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the lentils, broth, water, rosemary, tomatoes, salt, red-pepper flakes, black pepper, and bacon. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pasta and simmer until the lentils are tender and the pasta is done, 10 to 15 minutes longer.

  3. Variations: · Substitute an equal amount of pancetta for the bacon.: · Use thyme instead of rosemary.: · Add shredded spinach or escarole leaves during the last few minutes of cooking.

  4. Wine Recommendation: The nebbiolo grape produces wine with complex notes including smoke, truffle, and dried red cherry. A light-bodied version, such as one from Valtellina, is an excellent match.

Quick From Scratch Italian