Lentil Soup With Pasta and Mint / Fakes Me Pastoula Ke Diosmo
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1/3 cup stellini, small orzo or other tiny pasta shape or 2/3 cup crushed vermicelli
- 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, plus a few leaves for garnish
- 1 cup chopped red onions
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ – 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- Sweet Greek vinegar, such as Kalamata vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
- 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
In a large pot, combine the water, lentils and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf. Wipe out the pot with paper towels.
Heat the oil in the pot and sauté the onions with the Aleppo pepper or pepper flakes over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and sauté for 1 minute. Add the reserved cooking liquid, the stock and salt to taste, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Return the broth to boiling, add the pasta, increase the heat to medium and cook for 8 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding a few grindings of black pepper. Stir in the mint. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle oil, and a little vinegar over each serving and garnish with the mint leaves.