I have never cooked with lentils or kale before, so I was excited to try this new recipe. It's one of those soups that you look at and think, "Wow...this is SO healthy"...but you wonder how it's going to TASTE!! ; ) As I got out all the ingredients, I was showing my daughter how beautiful the kale was. If you've never bought kale before, it really is beautiful with its deep, deep green color and the ruffly leaves. My daughter responded with her nose wrinkled up, "It's good for the eyes, but not for the taste buds!"
But I am happy to report that, MIRACULOUSLY, all of my children ate their bowl for dinner. It had a really good flavor and the kale, even though it had been simmering for 30 minutes, never got all limp and wilty. My one daughter that has VERY adult taste buds ate the leftovers with me for a couple of days. The other kids, including my husband ; ), did not eat the leftovers. And there were SO MANY leftovers that I ended up giving a tupperware full to a friend. The recipe was so huge that I am going to split it in half here. It originally calls for 12 cups of broth...I should have known to split it from the beginning, but it said it made 8 servings....yeah, right! More like 18!
So here's what you need:
1 tsp. canola oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
8 oz. lentils (they normally come in 16 oz bags)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups chopped kale leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
Cook onion in oil for 5 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes until carrots are softened. Add broth, lentils, basil, thyme, and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add kale. Cook 30-35 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
Add additional broth if necessary. Stir in lemon juice and top with grated peel before serving.
I served this with my Easy Whole Wheat bread and I thought the soup was absolutely delicious with little pieces of bread broken into it.