Hearty Green Lentil Soup

Two things I learned in the process of coming up with this dish:

1. Soup is ridiculously easy to make and takes barely any effort. I should make it more often.

2. Lentils are delicious when not cooked into mushy oblivion.

I never really liked lentils and now I clearly know why. I had no idea lentils could be anything other than a mushy grainy texture. These came out soft and chewy, and picked up all the flavors from the broth and vegetables.


While I made this soup on the weekend to take for lunch with me throughout the week, this could easily be made anytime. It only takes about 15 minutes of active prep and then you just let the soup do its thing, simmering away on the stove top.

Hearty Green Lentil Soup

serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 5 oz sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • A pinch of each ground black pepper, dried oregano and dried parsley. You could add salt, but I think the vegetable broth adds enough on its own.

Directions

  • In a large pot, saute the onions and carrots in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Let simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft but not mushy. There should be some liquid left in the pot when you are done.

Indian-spiced red lentils with kale

I’m an impatient cook. Terrible at following directions. My recipes usually start with a base idea. A recipe that lights the spark.

And then the wheels start spinning.

“What if I added this…”

And

“I wonder how it would work with that….”

But the cooking happens through intuition.

By taste.

By smell.

By feel.

But not always by look, as is proved with this dish.

It’s not pretty. But, oh, is it tasty. And packed with good stuff.

Indian spiced red lentils with kale (Inspired by No Meat Athlete’s Red Lentil Curry)

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups red lentils

1 16 oz bag of frozen kale

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 tbsp turmeric

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp (or more) crushed red pepper

salt to taste

Directions:

Bring 4 cups of water and the 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to boil. When the liquid is boiling, add the lentils, turmeric, chili powder, curry powder and salt. Reduce heat to a mild simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally.

This is where you can really see my impatience at work.

Add the frozen bag of kale. Break up any large chunks but do not stir into the lentils. Cover the pot so the kale can steam for about 10 minutes

When all the kale is soft, mix into the lentils below it and add in the red pepper flakes. I recommend adding less at first and more if you want it spicier.

Let the whole mixture simmer uncovered until you get the desired texture and most of the liquid is gone.

I poured mine into a big container to portion out for lunches during the week, but this can be served either as main course or side dish for dinner as well.

It’s the perfect meal for a day that looks like spring but still feels like winter! Light, but also warm and comforting.

Have a great Monday!