Sometimes a simple, comforting soup is all I crave for dinner. This soup hits the spot every time. It’s simple to make, guilt-free and healthful. Whenever I’m trying to eat lighter, I make a large pot of this soup and keep it in the fridge. I then eat small bowls of it every time I feel peckish between meals. I call it my “snack soup.” This soup will also make a great, light dinner served with some bread.
French lentils, also called Puy lentils, are earthy, filling and packed with protein. They match up very well with the kale in this soup. French lentils are available precooked (or “pre-steamed”). I buy mine from Trader Joe’s. Precooked French lentils are handy to have. You can use them in soups or toss them in a salad, or sauté them with some vegetables and spices or curry powder for a quick side dish.
French Lentil and Kale Soup
Serves about 4
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 32 ounces vegetable stock
- 5 kale leaves, washed
- 1 1/2 cups precooked French lentils
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Saute on medium-low heat until the onion is translucent.
- Sprinkle the oregano and cumin and stir. Then pour in the vegetable stock. Increase heat to medium-high and boil the stock until the carrot is soft.
- While the stock is cooking, work on the kale leaves. Tear the kale into bite-size pieces, avoiding the tough center stem. Add the torn kale leaves and the french lentils to the soup. Boil just until the kale turns bright green and wilts just a little, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
Photo credits: Sala Kannan