This is one of my favorite Fall/Winter soups that my Dad makes. I have recently started to follow a vegetarian diet and replaced the normal chicken broth and Kielbasa sausage with Vegetarian Non-Chicken Broth and Tofurkey Sausage. I cannot tell the difference except that the sausage is a little bit of a different texture. However, it has a really nice flavor. The soup is very filling and tastes even better the next day! Whole Foods Market is where I found the broth and sausage.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with the juice and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the juices have evaporated a little.
Transfer the vegetable mixture to a stockpot. Stir in the lentils. Add the broth and the thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. PLEASE NOTE you can add more broth or water to the consistency you prefer. You can replace the dried thyme with fresh thyme and use 4 to 6 sprigs.
Cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and add the pasta. Cook for 8 minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.