Monday, June 1, 2015

Meatless Monday: Lentil Kale Soup

Summer is a time for salads and lighter fare, but when the weather turns abruptly cool, as it has today, a hearty soup can be a pleasant change.

In honor of 2014 Kale Day, I shared an original recipe for Sausage Kale Soup. In recognition of Meatless Monday, and as another small step in the vegan direction, today I offer you Lentil Kale Soup. Just a few small switches transform the former recipe into the latter. Lentil Kale Soup is deeply satisfying, economical, rich in vitamins, and delicious, too! And, if the hot weather suddenly comes back, pop the leftovers into the freezer. This recipe makes at least 8 hearty servings, and it freezes really well.

  • Olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of your pot)
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 qt vegetable broth (or 1 vegetable bouillon cube + water)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • I cup red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 28 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large head curly kale
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered cayenne pepper
  • Peel and chop the onion.
  • Peel and mince the garlic.
  • In a heavy soup pot, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the broth.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and carrots. 
  • Cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes.
  • Quarter the carrots and cut into 1 inch pieces.
  • Dice the celery.
  • Rinse the lentils.
  • Add vegetables and lentils to the broth along with the thyme.
  • When the sweet potatoes are fork tender, add the tomatoes.
  • Add the cayenne pepper.
  • Wash well and roughly chop the kale
  • Add kale to the soup when the tomatoes are hot.
  • The soup is done when the kale is tender.
  • Serve hot.
This soup is delicious as is. Optional pairings include shredded cheddar cheese or plain Greek yogurt for a topping, or a hearty whole grain bread as a side.    

For the past few Meatless Monday posts I have been floating the idea of working towards making Meatless Monday a dairy and egg -free day. For those who missed the original post, the idea stemmed from a desire to become a more ethical eater.

I proposed starting with small steps. Here are links to other recipes in the series: Vegan Lemon Loaf Cake, Avocado Mayonnaise, a one-pot vegan pasta dish, and Avocado Chocolate Mousse. I hope you enjoy the latest addition to this series.

Happy Meatless Monday!  Have a great week.

On Mondays I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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