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    Ditaloni soup with lentils and kale

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    Ditaloni soup with lentils and kale

    A take on the classic Italian pasta e fagioli, this uses lentils rather than beans to complement the pasta. If you don't need this to be vegetarian or vegan, add extra depth by throwing in a couple of parmesan rinds with the stock and grate more cheese over the finished dish.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 50 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
    4 carrots, finely chopped
    1 onion, finely chopped
    6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    small bunch thyme sprigs, plus extra to serve
    225g dried green lentils
    1 litre fresh vegetable stock
    400g can plum tomatoes
    150g pentland brig kale, thick stems removed, leaves torn into small pieces
    2 fresh bay leaves
    225g ditaloni pasta
    chilli flakes, to serve 

    Method

    1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add the carrots, onion, garlic and thyme with a pinch of salt; cover and cook very gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring every so often, until very soft but not brown. Remove and discard the thyme stalks. Rinse the lentils in a sieve until the water runs clear, then add to the mixture with the stock, tomatoes, kale and bay leaves; season then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

    2. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, bring back to the boil, stir, and cook for 2 minutes less than the pack instructions. Drain then add the pasta to the cooked soup, stir through and season if needed. To serve, divide the soup between 4 bowls, drizzle with a little oil and top with a few thyme leaves and chilli flakes, plus some grated cheese, if liked.

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, September 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue

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