Curried Lentil & Kale Soup

A hearty soup that warms the soul and the stomach.

DSCN1884Yield: 8 two-cup servings

Weight Watchers Points: ~4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 quarts water or stock (I use vegetable stock)
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into quarter-inch coins
5 medium celery stalks, peeled and cut into quarter-inch slices
1 each red and yellow bell peppers, cored and cut into quarter-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder (sweet or hot)
1 sixteen ounce package of lentils, rinsed and picked over for foreign objects
1 large bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped

DSCN1837

Carrots, celery, bell peppers and garlic.

Carrots, celery, bell peppers and garlic.

Roughly chopped kale.

Roughly chopped kale.

Method:

Heat the oil and butter in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan with a cover over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add the sliced onions and the salt. Stir to coat the onions, cover and sweat for 10 minutes. Open and stir a couple of times; if you notice the onions frying (turning brown and crisping), lower the flame a bit.

Onions after sweating 10 minutes.

Onions after sweating 10 minutes.

Remove the cover, and continue to cook the onions. The purpose of sweating is to release the water content from the onions. Removing the lid lets that water evaporate and then the natural sugars in the onion begin to caramelize. Keep the water for the soup nearby to use in small quantities to dissolve the fond, which can burn if left on the bottom of the pan and give an acrid taste. The dissolved fond colors and flavors the onions as they soften.

Caramelized onions create a fond on the bottom of the pan.

Caramelized onions create a fond on the bottom of the pan.

Add a little water/stock to the pan and scrape to dissolve the fond.

Add a little water/stock to the pan and scrape to dissolve the fond.

Caramelized onions.

Caramelized onions.

Stir in the sliced carrots, celery, peppers, garlic and curry powder. Once the aroma of the curry is fragrant, add the water/stock and the lentils. Cook for 15 minutes. If the soup boils too vigorously, lower the flame a bit.

Stir in the prepped vegetables and curry powder.

Stir in the prepped vegetables and curry powder.

Add the water/stock and lentils.

Add the water/stock and lentils.

Stir in the kale; if it looks like it won’t fit, don’t’ worry, it wilts quickly as you blend it in. The soup at this point is very thick; almost stew-like; if you prefer a thinner soup, add more liquid to your liking. Make sure you adjust the seasoning to counter for the additional liquid.

With the kale.

With the kale.

Continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Serve immediately or let cool and refrigerate. This makes X amount of soup. I use two-cup mason jars for freezing the extra.

2-cup Mason jars for the freezer.

2-cup Mason jars for the freezer.

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