Italian Lentil and Pasta Soup

1/4 cup olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 T. dried Italian seasoning or 1 tsp. each of dried oregano, thyme and basil
2 cups dried green or brown lentils
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups cooked small shaped pasta such asL ditalini, elbows, shells
1/4 cup shredded or grated Romano cheese

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and saute the carrot, celery, and onino. Cook for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add garlic, seasoning and lentils. Stir; cook 30 seconds. Add broth, salt and pepper. Cover; simmer for 30 minutes on low heat until lentils are tender. Add cooked pasta to lentils, stir to combine and seve with grated cheese on top. Serves 6.

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