One of the things I’m trying to do this year is eat vegan a couple of times a week. And for me the easiest way to accomplish this is to have a big bowl of soup. This lentil and kale soup is the perfect example. It’s vegan, full of fiber and protein and easy to make. It’s a filling, satisfying soup that doesn’t leave you hungry later in the day. It’s packed with vegetables and has a hint of heat from some cumin, curry powder and red pepper flakes – giving it a lovely, warm, spicy flavor.
I love lentils, especially in soup. They are a great source of protein and cholesterol-lowering fiber. Lentils have significant amounts of folate, iron and magnesium and are great at stabilizing blood sugar as well.
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse – it’s a cruciferous vegetable that’s packed with vitamin K, A and C. It’s low in calories and fat and a great addition to soup because it holds its shape well and doesn’t fall apart when cooked. It has a soft, chewy texture and the flavor works well with the tomatoes and carrots.
A couple of notes:
- I like to serve this with some french bread, a small green salad and a glass of wine for dinner. For a change of pace, try serving it over chewy brown rice or nutty quinoa topping with some chopped avocado.
- I find the tough kale stems too chewy – so I remove them. Just run a sharp knife down both side of the stem. Discard the tough stem and slice up the kale leaves into thin ribbons before adding to the soup.
- Make sure to pick through your lentils in case there are any small stones and also rinse your lentils before adding to the soup pot – lentils tend to be dusty.
|Lentil and Kale Soup|| |
- 2 stalks of celery - washed and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion - peeled and diced
- 2 carrots - peeled and diced
- 3 cloves of garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 cups of shredded kale - I used lacinato kale, also known as tuscan or black kale
- 1½ tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes - add a bit more of you like more heat
- 10 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill
- 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of dry lentils - picked through and rinsed.
- 4 cups of vegetable stock - low sodium if preferred
- 1 cup of water
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- Add 2 tbs olive oil to a large soup pan over low heat.
- Add diced celery, onion, carrots and minced garlic.
- Saute for 10 minutes over low heat until veggies have softened - stirring occasionally.
- While the veggies are cooking, remove the stem from the kale leaves and slice up the kale into thin ribbons. Add to the soup pot and stir to combine - cook for 2 minutes until slightly wilted.
- Add cumin, curry powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper and diced tomatoes (include their juices). Stir to combine all ingredients.
- Add lentils, vegetable stock, water and the bouillon cube. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 35 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender and puree ⅓ of soup - and simmer for 10 more minutes.