Pasta and Lentil Soup

6 cups water or stock
? pound (1 ? cups) dried lentils
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, scarped and cut into small dice
2 celery stalks, cut into small dice
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 ? cups canned tomatoes in puree, coarsely chopped
? cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
? pound spaghetti, broken into 1-inch lengths
? teaspoon fresh pepper

In soup pot, combine water or stock, lentils, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and tomatoes. Add olive oil, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the 1 teaspoon salte and the spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain pasta and add to eltnils. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The soup can be made in advance, but the pasta should not be added until the serving time or it will overcook.

From Vegetarian Table: Italian.