I’ve been on a soup kick lately. Lately meaning since approximately June. Or maybe that’s when I started to realize that I just really love soup. There is something about a homemade bowl of soup that is so satisfying to me. It’s warm, filling, and who can say no to a one-pot meal? Soup is one of the cheapest and easiest meals to make on your own, and it’s super simple to reheat for a quick leftover.
Indian cuisine is something I knew little to nothing about growing up. When I was in high school, my dad and I decided to check out a local Indian restaurant he had heard good things about. I didn’t know what to order and wasn’t crazy over my food, thinking from then on that I just wasn’t a big fan of Indian food (in my narrow-minded seventeen-year old brain). Fast-forward to college, and I’m surrounded by a huge selection of international cuisines from all around the world. Senior year of college, I tried out Indian food again, and this time I loved it. My favorite dishes are the ever-popular Chicken Tikka Masala and curried lentils – two items you’ll find on just about any Indian restaurant menu.
This curried lentil and kale soup is a winner in my book. It’s fast, inexpensive, healthy, and filling. I used chicken stock as the base, but sub veggie stock and you’ve got yourself one tasty, hearty vegan meal. Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, and iron, making them a go-to option for many vegans and vegetarians. If you have missed all of the hype over the super food kale, then you have likely been living under a rock. (Only kidding – check out this page to learn more about the health benefits of kale.)
Basically, if you like curry and you’re looking for a simple, fast, and healthy soup to keep your belly full, this guy is the one.
Curried Lentil & Kale Soup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 3 carrots, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 – 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (1/4 for less spice)
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 4-5 stalks kale, leaves torn into small pieces (or 8-10 cups of your favorite greens)
- optional: serve with chopped green onions, cilantro, a dollop of plain yogurt, and warmed Naan
- In a large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add diced onions and carrots and cook for 10 minutes or until slightly softened.
- Add garlic and rest of spices. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer veggies to a 3-4 quart cooking pot. Add tomato paste, stock and lentils. Stir and bring to a boil, then let simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
- Optional: using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend the soup to achieve a smoother texture. I left mine slightly chunky. (If using a regular blender, wait until soup has cooled slightly.)
- Add kale and stir, continuing to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, or until kale is tender and has turned dark green.
- Serve with optional toppings and enjoy.