I’ve made Spiced Red Lentil and Kale soup at least three times this winter! It undoubtedly deserves proper recognition. For anyone who might be squeamish about lentils, the cute little red ones were grown for you. They are mild, perhaps slightly sweet and act like delicate sponges absorbing the flavors around them. They are often used to thicken and lend body to broth, and honestly, in this soup the spices are so prominent that you might find yourself wondering if there are even lentils in there…..
I found the recipe in a cookbook by Angela Liddon called the Oh She Glows Cookbook. Angela is also the author of a blog by the same name. She practices plant-based eating and offers recipes that celebrate the depth and diversity of plants. Two other recipes from her blog that have become staples in my kitchen are her Vegan Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and homemade crackers….the latter being an excellent compliment alongside this soup…and they are easier to make than a batch of cookies… I promise.
Because this soup hinges on powerful spices, the ingredient list is short and it comes together quickly- easy enough to make after work. Make sure to use homemade vegetable broth as your base. Of course, chicken stock can be substituted, but the vegetable broth makes for a much cleaner taste.
By the way, I’ve also been holding out on two other of Angela’s lovely soups….both a little creamy and a lot healthy! Hmmm….what could they be?!
Adapted from the Oh She Glows Cookbook.
This calls for kale, but I’ve used spinach, baby kale and Swiss chard. Simply use your favorite…or better yet, the one you need to eat more of.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 3 stalks celery, small chop
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp mild chili powder
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes, reserve juice
- 6 cups homemade vegetable broth
- 1 cup uncooked red lentils, rinsed
- 3 healthy handfuls of kale
- 1tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- In large pot (I used a 6.75 quart Dutch oven) heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent- about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the celery and ½ tsp salt and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Stir in the spices and the bay leaf and cook for 1 minute until.
- Pour in the vegetable broth, the tomatoes and their juices and the lentils.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the remaining ½ tsp salt and pepper then stir in the kale. Be sure to remove the bay leaf.
- Once the kale has wilted taste for seasoning and serve.