I explained my devotion to lentils in last weeks post, though if pressed, I could probably write a line or two more…Part II of this lentil soup series features a spin on a Cooking Light Recipe – a rustic, yet hearty lentil soup with carrots, onions, and that proverbial leafy green of good health, kale. I first tried kale in a white bean and sausage soup. The kale was slimy and salty. Since then, kale and I have become better friends. It’s graced my macaroni and cheeses, been served sautéed over quinoa with a fried a egg, and used in many places to substitute for spinach. For this soup, I used the more popular and milder siberian kale. Served the soup with toasted bread on a chilly February night. If you’re a new-comer to kale, this soup is a great start!
Kale and Lentil Soup, adapted from Cooking Light, January/February 2012
- One medium onion, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 bunch of kale, finely chopped
- Salt, pepper to taste
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute the onion, celery, and carrots. Add the bay leaves and thyme, cooking about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the lentils and broth. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow to cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. You’ll notice the soup has started to thicken. If it’s too thick for your tastes, add extra broth or water by the 1/4 cup.
At this point, you can discard the bay leaves. If you want, use an immersion blender to puree some of the lentil mixture (optional step). Add the kale, salt, and pepper, until the kale darkens slightly in color. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and hearty bread, toasted and spread with goat cheese. (Pictured with pesto, above).