- Written by Cynthia Presser
I feel like crying when I realize it is just mid-September, but I am already posting soup recipes… It has been a cold September here in Indiana and the soup crave has started. I love soups and having lots of it is definitely my favorite part of winter – the only pleasant part of winter in my opinion. Yes, I am a summer girl!
So to make those cold evenings cozier, I think this soup fits the bill just fine! It is hearty and simple, yet it is packed with tons of good-for-you ingredients.
Lentils and kale is a combination that has been used in Brazilian cuisine forever (beans and kale too). In fact, kale is a very widely used ingredient in Brazil since pretty much forever… I honestly think it is so funny how just recently (I would say maybe in the last 3 or 4 years?) kale has become a trendy ingredient in the US. It became a synonym of healthy food, hard-to-drink smoothies and green-anything culinary. But I am SO glad America discovered kale and I really hope people keep experimenting with this nutritious ingredient! So get warm and feel good with this easy-to-make soup.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup bacon, finely diced (about 4 to 5 strips)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups kale, finely diced, hard steams and ends discarded
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 1 large Roma tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 pound (2 cups) lentils
- 11 cups hot water
- 2 cubes chicken bouillon (good quality)
- 2 dried bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, heat up olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until fully cooked, but not quite crispy; 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft; 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, kale, and carrots and cook until kale has softened; 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until incorporated; 2 minutes.
Add lentils, hot water, chicken bouillon and bay leaves. Stir well and bring to a soft boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, with lid tilted, stirring occasionally, 35 to 45 minutes – until lentils are soft (see Cook’s Note). If broth becomes too thick during cooking process, add more water. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
I like to eat my lentils on the softer side, so I usually simmer this soup for about 45 minutes. If you prefer lentils that have a more “al dente” texture, remove from heat sooner.