I saw an excellent soup recipe on PBS’s “Lidia’s Italy” show using lentils, which are highly nutritious and loaded with all sorts of minerals. It was so easy to make in my Dutch oven. Only thing I think Lidia forgot in her recipe was some diced garlic, which I added to enhance the taste. I also put a pinch of dried red pepper and peppercorns in as well.
NOTE: Pancetta is Italian for bacon; Ditalini are small soup noodles (pictured below). Ham or sausage can be used instead on Pancetta (bacon).