Lentil Soup with Veggies and Pasta

Lentil Soup with Veggies and Pasta:

My mom was recently visiting. Like most moms, mine is known for throwing ingredients together and coming up with something delicious to eat — without even having a written recipe. Not a big deal, right? It’s a bit of an issue for me since I’m not really one to wing it much when cooking (I’m a little Type A — maybe that has something to do with it?). So to finally get a written recipe for this soup makes me very happy!

I used to think there was a big secret or heavy lifting behind cooking lentils, but I was wrong. Lentils are quick-cooking and easy to make, and so is lentil soup. This version, my mom’s go-to for years (and now mine), includes veggies and pasta in the mix. I make mine more thick and creamy, but either way, it’s super hearty (don’t forget the health benefits of lentils) and delicious.

Add just about anything to this soup

I had to run out on a few quick errands and my mom stayed behind in my kitchen. When I got home, something smelled too good to be true — it was lentil soup with veggies and pasta! I wondered how this happened so quickly — did I even have the right ingredients in the house? My mom told me that all she did was open the fridge and a few cupboards and suddenly, soup was on.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can pretty much add whatever vegetables and seasonings you have available and it’ll likely be delicious. My mom told me that she often uses leftover mashed potatoes instead of the cream of mushroom (or celery) soup, and adds a bit of milk to thin them in place of the water. I once used salsa when I was out of tomato sauce. It worked out really well!

After we each ate a bowl I had her sit with me so she could walk me through her steps to soup. This is her “recipe.” It can be hard to give someone a written recipe that’s in your head — especially this one where substitutions are likely. I used my mom’s version and tweaked it a little, which you’ll probably do, too.

My post originally appeared on The Daily Meal.

Retouched mom and soup

Mom enjoys her soup

Recipe for Lentil Soup with Veggies and Pasta:

Serves 6-8 people