I FIRST tasted this soup in Astypalaia, the tiny, picturesque Dodecanese island. The lentils were mixed with small, somewhat crude pieces of homemade pasta and seasoned with plenty of fresh mint. In T. F. Horowitz’s book
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
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.
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