Lentils are an easy legume to work with – no soaking overnight or precooking. This quick and easy Curried Lentil and Kale Soup is a hearty meal packed with flavor.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds cooking onions, thinly sliced (4 cups)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 quarts vegetable stock or water
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into quarter-inch coins (2 cups)
5 medium celery stalks, peeled and cut into quarter-inch slices (2 cups)
1 each red and yellow bell peppers, cored and cut into quarter-inch pieces (1 ½ cups)
4 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, washed, stems removed and roughly chopped (4 cups)
Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepan with a cover over medium-high heat.
Stir in the sliced onions and the salt. Stir to coat the onions, cover and sweat for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times. if you notice the onions frying (turning brown and crisping), lower the flame a bit.
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 a cup of cold water nearby to add in small doses to dissolve the fond, which colors and flavors the onions as they soften. The onions are done when they are soft and golden, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the carrots, celery, peppers, garlic and curry powder. Once the aroma of the curry is fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the stock and lentils and bring to a boil.
Lower to a moderate simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Stir in the kale in batches, adding more as it wilts and continue ontinue cooking for another 10 minutes.
Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate.
Soup freezes well.