I have to admit, I am usually always a fan of stock based soups…good ol’ chicken or beef. Maybe it is because I have grown up in the Midwest for the last 20 years or just an over dependence for “comfort” foods, but going without a stock base in a soup for me is a bit of a terrifying experience (I mean…where do you make up for the flavor?). Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love trying vegan food and I was a vegetarian for a couple years in college, so I have never been a solely “red meat” kind of girl. But, despite my love of the new, I couldn’t help but have a little reluctance when beginning to make a water-based soup.
Firstly, I didn’t want to over spice it just because I was afraid of lack of flavor. Luckily, the tomatoes add a nice robust flavor on their own which can easily be accentuated with a few light additions of Italian seasonings. The heartiness provided by the kale and lentils also brings “comfort” right into this soup and packs in a great amount of energy food. I think most of the spices & amounts of garlic can be modified to suit your own tastes, which is why this soup can be so versatile. You could even add chicken stock if you just can’t go without and I think it would turn out great!
I am always a fan of Kale & lentils so this soup was a definite thumbs up for me & Jason.
Yields approx. 2-3 servings
- 1/2 cup dried white lentils
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped or sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes (or substitute 1/2 cup chopped onion, saute first in olive oil and add in with garlic)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced organic tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3-4 cups water (depends on your preferred thickness)
- 1 bunch of Kale, removed from ribs and tough center stems and shred into small pieces
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan or a stock pot – add together lentils, garlic, basil, thyme, parsley, onion, tomatoes, bay leaf, and water (more or less depending on desired soup thickness). Bring contents to a boil, stirring occasionally and then simmer uncovered for at least 1 hour (until lentils are soft).
- Add in Kale and cook approx. 10-15 more minutes on low until the Kale starts to wilt.
- Serve immediately. Add salt & pepper to taste.