Having company and lacking dinner inspiration? This Italian-inspired lentil soup may be the answer. It uses ingredients you'd commonly have on hand (including frozen vegetables) and can be on the table in about an hour.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic; cook about 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.
Add broth, the water, lentils, Italian seasoning and pepper to onion mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
Stir in undrained tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir in peas and carrots and uncooked pasta. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.
To serve, ladle into six soup bowls. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan.
Tip: If you prefer to use fresh garlic, substitute 6 cloves garlic, minced.
2 1/2 starch, 1 lean protein, 1 vegetable