(For those of you who do not practice Lent, Lent is a period of fasting/self-restraint in preparation for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends the Thursday before Easter. Traditionally Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent are meatless.) Back in 2017, I shared my favorite soup, Lentil Soup With Greens. Today I’m sharing it again. It’s so easy and delicious.
I’ve loved lentil soup for decades. I love the taste, the ease in making it, and the versatility of the soup. Back in the 1980’s, my friend Mary would make a big pot of lentil soup for Lent. Her recipe was pretty basic but for the last 5 to 8 minutes of cooking, she added baby spinach on top of the soup and replaced the lid. The spinach steamed, and then she stirred the spinach through the soup before serving in bowls
Through the years, I’ve made lentil soup numerous times as it’s my favorite soup. I added spinach like Mary, but I found I prefer the flavor of sautéed greens with garlic to steamed spinach. I usually add carrots, sometimes a couple of cherry or grape tomatoes for a spark of flavor, and greens in a pan of olive oil, garlic, and shallots. My favorite green is baby spinach, but I also like lentil soup with chard or kale. I’ve even made it once with chopped cabbage. I saute all the veggies in olive oil in a separate pan. After removing the sautéed greens from the pan, I add a cup of water and stir to get all the flavor I can. That is then added to the soup. Great flavor and nutrition. Cooking one dish meals makes me very happy.
Today I am using kale. You cut around the tough stem and thinly slice kale ribbons. Kale ribbons work well for salads and soups. Chop in one direcction to make small pieces. Rotate to other side and repeat for all the kale leaves. Discard the large stems. Then you should place the kale in a large bowl, sprinkle it with salt, and massage with your fingers. It does make a big difference in taste. If you are someone who really hates kale, I suggest you look for baby kale. I’m using a shallot instead of onion. I always loved onion and then a few years ago I started getting indigestion. My sister and I found that we could substitute shallots for onion and still enjoy our food. Options include adding cooked rice or pasta to the pot. If the basic recipe is used with vegetable broth, the soup is vegan and grain-free.
Lentil Soup with Greens
Use organic when available. Serves 6
Lentil Soup With Greens
- 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced (approx. 1 cup)
- 1 bunch chopped leafy greens such as kale, spinach, or chard
- 1 small tomato diced
- 8 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 cup water from sautéed greens pan
- 4 tbsp lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil over medium heat
- Add greens, garlic, shallot, tomato and carrots
- Sprinkle salt on veggies and cook 3 to 4 minutes
- Add veggies to soup pot with broth and lentils
- Pour 1 cup water in greens pan and stir
- Add water to soup pot
- Bring to a boil
- Lower heat to medium and cook 30 minutes or until lentils are tender
- Lower heat to low
- Add lemon juice and stir
- Serve and enjoy!
The soup is tasty with crusty bread, crisp crackers or even cornbread.
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