Curried Lentil & Kale Soup

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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
serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 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

Your ingredients (ignore the coconut milk, I didn’t end up using it)… and naturally I forgot to include the kale, but I’m sure you all know what that looks like!

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add diced onions and carrots and cook for 10 minutes or until slightly softened.
  2. Add garlic and rest of spices. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. Add kale and stir, continuing to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, or until kale is tender and has turned dark green.
  6. Serve with optional toppings and enjoy.

Saute diced onions and carrots until softened slightly

Stir in spices and saute for another 1-2 minutes

After picking over lentils, rinse and drain (I used a combination of red and green lentils)

Transfer sauteed veggies to a cooking pot and add chicken or veggie stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Stir and bring to a boil, then return to a simmer and cook until lentils are soft, about 15-20 minutes.

Optional: To achieve a thicker, smoother soup, use an immersion blender or regular blender (If using a regular blender, remove soup from heat and wait until it’s cooled slightly)

Your soup will look something like this if you choose to blend it.

Stir in kale and let the soup continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, or until kale is tender and has turned dark green.

I apologize for the bad lighting in the photo, but this is what the soup looks like when it’s finished

Serve with warm Naan and optional toppings (I simply added chopped cilantro)

🙂

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10 responses »

  1. This was SO good. Made it for me and a friend last night and he had two bowls. I’m having it for lunch today and I think the leftovers are even better!

  2. Pingback: Vegetarian Chili « Hungry Hannah

  3. Hi Hannah,

    Wow, I made the curried lentil and kale soup (+added some leftover red kidney beans) for my wife and I this evening and we loved it. I stumbled upon your blog a week or so ago as I am always looking for new recipes to try and appreciate the simple lay out and recipe variety. The recipes very much speak to the lay-person-chef-wannabe.

    Thanks and keep ’em coming!

    Steve (Vancouver, Canada)

  4. Pingback: The Kale & The Curry | venusboyfoodography

  5. Hi! I noticed in the picture of the ingredients you had thai coconut milk, but I didn’t read it used in the recipe. Should I omit it? Because it sounds like it would be a great touch! Let me know! Thanks!

    • Hi Rochelle, thank you for bringing this to my attention! For this recipe, I think I had planned to use coconut milk but didn’t end up adding it. I have used coconut milk in a similar curry recipe though and it was delicious!

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