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Our quick and easy Lentil Soup Recipe with Kale is healthy and delicious with a surprisingly robust flavor.
This simple lentil soup has been a staple in our house since 2012. It’s one of those recipes that surprises me every time I make it. The amount of flavor you get from a few fresh vegetables, tomato paste, vegetable broth and lentils is truly amazing.
For years this has been my go-to recipe when my husband is traveling for work. I can make a pot of this lentil soup recipe and enjoy it all week long, and never get tired of it! Since this is a vegan soup, it will keep in the refrigerator for days and still taste fresh. I really love this soup, and it makes me feel better about the cookies I ate over the weekend 🙂 It’s all in the balance – right?
My husband also adores this soup and wishes I’d make it more often, when he’s home. It’s perfect for lunches too… think meal prep for the entire week!
Are lentils really that good for you?
Lentils are from the legume family and boast a respectable amount of vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals and protein. They’re filling, easy to make and inexpensive, so that makes them great for adding to salads, casseroles, soups and stews. Health Magazine named them one of the five healthiest foods in the world. Let’s eat more lentils!
How do you store lentils?
For this lentil soup recipe, we use two varieties of dried lentils.
This lentil soup with kale is quick and easy to make:
- First, sauté the carrots, onion and garlic in a little olive oil.
- Add red pepper flakes and fresh thyme leaves and sauté until fragrant.
- Pour in the vegetable broth and add the rinsed lentils. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients: tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, garam masala, black pepper and the chopped kale.
- Simmer 10 minutes more or until the kale is wilted.
- Serve with a slice of hearty bread and enjoy 🙂
For an easy shortcut, buy pre-washed, chopped kale leaves. You can even use a combination of hearty greens like Swiss Chard, baby kale leaves and/or spinach. This soup just makes you feel better when you eat it. Try it and see!
Can you freeze this lentil soup recipe?
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Hearty, healthy and loaded with flavor. Freezable too!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup dry red lentils, rinsed
- ⅓ cup dry green or Puy lentils, rinsed
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 cups kale leaves, stems removed, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Pour the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Heat on medium-high until the oil is shimmering. Add the carrots and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and thyme leaves. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the vegetable broth, water and lentils to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
Add all remaining ingredients: tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, garam masala, pepper, kale and parsley. Return the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the kale is wilted.
Serve with a dash of hot sauce, if desired. Garnish with parsley.
We like the spark of heat from the crushed red pepper. If you don't care for the warmth, start with 1/8 teaspoon or omit.
Use low-sodium vegetable broth, if desired. Also you can use salt-free or low-sodium tomato paste in this recipe. Check the seasoning to ensure you don't need a little salt.
Here are a few more of our favorite lentil based recipes:
Originally published October 2012, updated March 2020