I got the idea for this soup from Cucina Ebraica. The tomato sauce really adds a lot of flavor to the broth. I used small brown italian lentils, but french green lentils would work too. I keep small cooked meatballs in the freezer. You could use frozen meatballs or make them fresh and simmer them in the broth for a longer period of time to cook them through.
Lentil and meatball soup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup celery, small dice
1/2 cup carrot, small dice
2 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of water
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup small green or brown lentils
12-14 small cooked meatballs (you can also use raw meatballs)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes or until onions start to turn translucent. Add the carrot and celery, saute for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add lentils, chicken stock, water and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Add in meatballs, simmer for about 5 more minutes or until meatballs are heated through. If you're using raw meatballs, you may need to cook them longer. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary, garnish with chopped parsley.