Curried Lentil Soup with Kale

8:45 AM

Ok, this is starting to get ridiculous!  Fall is here, it's time for back to school, and my return from my summer-long hiatus.  We'll see how this goes.

Autumn brings the beginning of my favorite time of year.  Time to pull out cozy sweaters and cute scarves, apple cider and hot chocolate, pies, and everything pumpkin!  I get so excited as the holiday season starts, and this year we get to kick it off with Liam's first birthday party!  It's in early October and have I planned anything yet?  Not really...  there's still time though, right?  :)

Fall is also the beginning of soup season, so I thought I'd kick things off with one of my absolute favorite soup recipes.  I probably make this way too often, but I love it so much, and it's super healthy, so I guess that's ok.

My Srilankan friend, Deepa, sent me some roasted curry powder when I was pregnant.  I have absolutely fallen in love with it and that is what I use in this soup.  I would highly recommend trying it - there is so much depth to the flavor... it's really quite amazing!  If you don't have any and can't get any, regular curry powder will work.  (Just know that you're missing out on awesome!)  :)

Curried Lentil Soup with Kale

6 Tbsp olive oil
1 extra large yellow onion (or two medium), diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
3 tsp roasted curry powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
3 tsp kosher salt (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8-12 c chicken broth (or veggie broth)
1 c red lentils
1 c green lentils
4 large carrots, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
3 c chopped kale, packed
Juice of 3 lemons (or more, to taste)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Stir in the onion and garlic; cook until the onion has turned golden brown, about 5 minutes.  stir in the tomato paste, curry powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Cook, stirring continuously, 2 minutes more until the spices are fragrant.

Stir in the chicken broth (I start with 8 cups and usually add another 1-2 at the end), lentils, carrots and celery.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook until the lentils are soft, about 20 minutes.

Using your "weapon" of choice (mine is an immersion blender) - blender, immersion blender, food processor, etc. - puree the soup, leaving it a little bit chunky.  This is where you may want that extra 4 cups of chicken broth.  This soup is pretty thick if left as-is.  If you prefer, thin it out adding one cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

Stir in the kale and cook for another 8-10 minutes.  Stir frequently, as the pureed lentils have a tendency to settle to the bottom of the pot and may burn.  Add the lemon juice and any extra salt you may desire, and serve.

This makes enough for about 8 (or three hungry boys).

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