Lentil Soup With Pasta Shells


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
2 cups drained lentils, rinsed
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed), drained and slivered
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup cooked small shell pasta
Salt to taste

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

1. In a soup pot, over medium heat warm oil. Add chopped onion and garlic. Sauté about 3 minutes than add carrots and sauté about 2 min.
2. Add broth, water, lentils, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
3. Add tomatoes and simmer until lentils are tender (about 20 minutes); stir often. 
4. Stir in vinegar, adjust seasoning, and stir cooked pasta into soup. Serve immediately.

Real Cooking

Surviving Daily
Mealtime Madness
Start planning meals ahead of time for your family to eat better, have more enjoyable laid-back meals together and to save some time and money.

Life can get pretty busy and sometimes is very hard to organize daily busy schedules and prepare meals for the whole family. Preparing meals ahead of time, will allow you to eat what is best for you and your family, instead of eating what's convenient.

Make a meal plan for the whole week (or two weeks) and avoid becoming a short-order cook in your own kitchen.
Choose acceptable quality nutritious meals that will appeal to the majority and refuse daily catering to everyone's likes and dislikes.

Ask your family to help you with meal ideas and try some new recipe every couple of weeks to keep mealtime interesting. It is amazing what foods your family will try if they have been involved in meal planning process.

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