This simple and wonderful lentil soup is so healthy you'll want to eat it every day. To tell the truth, I have been eating it almost every day for lunch. It's so filling and flavorful and freezes exceptionally well. The girls in the office stopped asking me what I brought for lunch because it's often left-over lentil soup. When my husband travels a lot I like to make something that will last so I don't have to cook every night. I made a big batch of this soup and froze more than half. I've never felt the least amount of dread about what's in my lunch box when I have this soup to devour.
There are many varieties of lentils and they come in a rainbow of colors. Lentils are from the legume family and boast a respectable amount of vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals and protein. Red lentils, pictured above, are not the powerhouse variety, but I love to cook with them anyway. When added to soups and stews they add a delicate texture and flavor I love. Lentils are also inexpensive and Health Magazine named them one of the five healthiest foods.
I also added green lentils to blend the textures and health benefits. As with dried beans, be sure to wash and pick over the lentils removing any debris.
Add a healthy bunch of chopped carrots and onions for flavor and color.
Wash and trim a big bunch of Kale, removing the tough stems. Kale, the real super food, helps keep your immune system strong. Kale cooks down quickly much like fresh spinach.
A big pot of healthy soup is like wearing a comfortable old sweater. You know ... the one your family threatens to throw away if they ever get their hands on it. Yes I have an ugly sweater my family hates. Oh well, at least I don't wear it in Christmas card photos!
Maybe I should wear my sweater and eat this soup - that would be just heavenly :)
Lentil & Kale Soup
(adapted from a recipe in the November 2011 Taste of Home Magazine)
5 cups water
2 heaping tablespoons vegetable base (I used Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base)
2 cups sliced carrots
1 large sweet onion, diced
1/3 cup dry red lentils, rinsed
1/3 cup dry green lentils, rinsed
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups Kale, stems removed, cut into bite size pieces
In a large stock pot combine the water, vegetable base, carrots, onions, and lentils. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir in all remaining ingredients and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes until the Kale is wilted and soft.
Serve with a dash of hot sauce if desired. Enjoy!
I really do love this soup. It makes me feel better about the cookies I ate last weekend :) It's all in the balance - right? I hope you have a lovely weekend. I feel there is something with pumpkin in my future. How about yours???
Thanks so much for stopping by!