Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chunky Lentil Soup

The first time I made lentil soup I used two of Heidi Swanson's recipes; one from her cookbook Super Natural Cooking and this one from 101cookbooks. I used them more as references than recipes and made it up as I went. I've since made variations on this soup a few more times and at this point it is so different I would say I could call it my own. It's warm, chunky, comforting and perfect for a cold, snowy, evening. Feel free to add or remove vegetables as you see fit, it really is a soup where anything goes. I would, however, definitely recommend a dark leafy green.

Chunky Lentil Soup
I didn't really measure anything but I will do my best to write down approximate measurements here. It came out pretty chunky and a little less soupy so if you want more broth and less stew/risotto increase your chicken broth. The soup will continue to absorb liquid after it cooks. I used lacinato kale because it happened to look good in the market and has sturdier rough texture but regular green kale, mustard greens, collards or spinach would work just as well. Serves 4, makes great leftovers, and freezes well.

3/4 french lentils
3 cups water
1 tbls olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2-3 cups low sodium organic chicken broth
14oz (1 can) Organic diced tomatoes
Splash of dry red wine
1 small bunch dark leafy green, chopped (see headnote)
a couple handfulls shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
garlic powder, pepper and salt to taste
grated parmesan cheese, greek yogurt, and/or hot sauce for serving

Bring lentils and water to a boil, cook until just tender, about 20 minutes.
Add mushrooms and a splash of water to a large pan cover, cook until just softened, set aside.
In a separate pot saute onion until soft add diced tomatoes and chicken broth and wine, bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer. Add lentils and any remaining cooking water (should be very little if any). Stir in chopped kale.
Add garlic powder and let simmer covered, about 10 minutes more. Kale should be wilted but not mushy, lentils should be soft but retain their shape.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with grated parmesan or a spoonful of non-fat plain greek yogurt and drizzle of hot sauce.


  1. Your photos look great. And this soup looks good too! I just got adventurous and bought a bag of lentils but didn't really know what to do with them. I've only ever had regular green kale (which i love) but that looks intense! I guess kale always does (my roommate is scared of it). I will have to give that a try.

  2. haha don't be afraid of lentils! they are so much less temperamental than other dried beans and we were totally successful with the chickpeas! And yea lacinto kale does kinda look like it might eat you if you don't eat it first haha

  3. I love these kinds of recipes, where the cook has gotten in the habit of throwing things in and improvising and changing and then has something all her own. Looks delicious!


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