Gluten Free Lentil Soup with Pasta
Italians knew long before it was “fashionable” that Lentils were a healthy and nourishing meal that also tasted great in whichever form you made them.
This is a Lentil Soup with gluten free elbows added. We’ve had them almost weekly for as long as I’ve been alive. When times were tough, when there wasn’t money for meat or fish, we ate Pasta with Lentils! And loved it, by the way. Most of the time, Mom served it never telling us that her budget could only stretch so far.
Now we hear “legumes” are the best thing to eat. Heck, we knew it all along! So, hopefully you’ll try this and fall in love with them too. This is a wonderful fall & winter dish, warming you from head to toes.
½ lb. Dried Green Lentils ( Be sure to rinse and pick through them, carefully looking for any tiny stones or stems that may have sneaked in from the fields and weren’t removed in the packaging plant)
1 Yellow Onion – about 2 ½ – 3 in. in diameter, Diced)
3 Carrots – peeled and diced as well
2 Celery Ribs – diced
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I use Light EVOO
¼ cup Fresh Parsley – washed and chopped
1 cup Fresh Spinach – washed and chopped
1 Bay Leaf ( Remove from broth when cooked. Do not eat, it provides flavor but isn’t eaten.)
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ cup Gluten Free Vegetable Broth
3 cups Water
Gluten Free Elbows or any small pasta- To serve 4, cook 6-7 ounces. I used ½ box of pasta.
Salt for the pasta water.
After all of the veggies are diced, prepare the saucepan by heating the EVOO until warm. Saute the onions first until translucent.
Add the carrots and celery to the onions and just saute all three for about 2 minutes.
Add the water and vegetable broth, and then place the lentils in.
Add the herbs and Salt & Pepper to your taste. If possible, don’t omit the Salt, because you need a little to flavor the lentils which aren’t all that full of flavor.
Cover and simmer until the lentils are soft, stirring frequently. This can take from ½ hour to 45 minutes. Some brands seem to soften quicker than others. Never could figure out why that’s so.
When they’re soft, remove this pot from heat, to a back burner while you cook the pasta.
Place a second pot of salted water on the stove-top, readying it to boil the gluten free pasta. We like our pastas “al dente”, so be careful to keep an eye on this. If it’s too overcooked, it gets mushy.
Strain the pasta when done, and add to the first soup pot with the lentils.
Combine and get ready to feel all “warm and comfy” inside!!
Here’s a close-up, if it helps with seeing the finished product.