- 3 T olive oil
- 2 oz pancetta (I use leftover ham)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery, finely chopped
- 1 T minced fresh sage
- 2 cups lentils
- 1 cup canned whole plum tomatoes, chopped with juice
- 6 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
- 1 T salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 lb ditalini pasta
- freshly ground pepper to taste
Make the soup base.....
In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pancetta and saute until lightly browned, about two minutes. Or you can chop leftover ham and add to the vegetable mixture. Add the vegetables and sage and saute until they are soft, about 3 minutes.
Cook the lentils.....
Rinse the lentils then stir into the vegetable mixture along with tomatoes stirring occasionally for five minutes. Increase the heat to high and add broth, bring to boil. Add the salt and reduce to simmer, partially covered until the lentils are nearly tender, around 30 minutes.
Cook the pasta.....
Add the pasta and cook stirring occasionally to prevent sticking until the pasta is not quite el dente, about two minutes less than package directions. The pasta will continue to cook in the heat of the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.