Saturday, January 19, 2013

Curried Lentil and Kale Soup

Lentils come in various colors, sizes and several forms. They are a good source of protein. Some of these lentils work well in soups and brown lentils is one such variety. The lentils cook anywhere from 10-30 mins depending on the variety. Lentils can add nutrition to rice dishes or soups and make up for a very satisfying meal. Normally, I prepare a quick lentil soup with spinach but since I am still recovering from a bad cold (apparently, I was told that this is one of the worst cold & flu season, so try and stay well people), I wanted to add more veggies and savor on a nutritious bowl of soup.

Kale has been an addition in my kitchen, ever since, I tasted baked kale chips (by the way, they are addictive and much healthier than regular potato chips). Kale is high in beta carotene, vitamin K/C and rich in calcium. The stems of the kale leaves tend to be a bit fibrous, so it needs to be trimmed in order to be used. I added some crushed black pepper to the soup to soothe my throat but you can try different variations by using other spices  too.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp light olive oil
1 bay leaf (optional)
2-3 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh kale, destemmed, rinsed, chopped
3/4 cup dry lentils, rinsed
4 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 medium tomato, chopped (optional)
Salt, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
1 tsp dry parsley (or 2-3 tbsp fresh parsley)
2 tsp madras curry powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper.

Method:



In a stock pot, on medium heat, add olive oil, bay leaf, onion and garlic. Saut√© until the onions turn slightly brown. 



Add chopped celery and carrot and cook until they are slightly done. Add kale and fry for few mins until it slowly starts to wilt. 

Now, add the tomato (if you want thicker soup, add tomato paste/pureé), lentil, water, curry powder and parsley.



Reduce the flame and allow the soup to start boiling. Add salt and lemon juice and mix well. Cover with lid and boil for 20-25 mins until the lentils are tender. 


                                                  
                                                     
Add freshly ground black pepper and simmer for 4-5 mins. Serve hot as-is or with a dollop of vegan sour cream (optional).

Makes 4-5 servings.

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