1) Carefully check the lentils for small stones. Place them in a bowl, covered with cold water, and soak for 2-3 hours. Rinse and drain well.
2) In a large saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the ham or salt pork for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion, and cool gently until it softens.
3) Stir in the carrot, and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. Add the lentils, and stir to coat them in the fats.
4) Pour in the broth or water and the herbs, and bring the soup to the boil. Cook over moderate heat for about 1 hour or until the lentils are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5) Stir in the pasta, and cook it until it is just done. Allow the soup to stand for a few minutes before serving.