Lentils and mushrooms are simmered up with macaroni pasta and smoky, savory tomato sauce to make this easy and comforting vegan American goulash.
Place the lentils into a small saucepan and cover with a couple of inches of water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Allow to cook until the lentils are tender, about 30-35 minutes. Drain any excess water.
While the lentils cook, coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes more, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the bell pepper and garlic, and continue to sauté until very fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, soy sauce, bay leaves, and pasta. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer until the pasta is cooked, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the lentils and tomato paste and allow to cook for about 2 more minutes, just to heat everything throughout and thicken the sauce.
Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with vegan yogurt, cashew cream, and/or fresh parsley.