This hearty lentil soup features deicious cold-weather vegetables such as kale and sweet potatoes. Fresh thyme and basil and canned tomatoes give this soup even more flavor.
4 leeks, white and light green parts only
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
6 cups water
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup brown lentils
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 fresh basil leaves (optional)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan (optional)
How to Make It
Slice each leek in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons (about 2 cups). Place in a large bowl of cold water and swish to remove any grit. Drain and pat dry.
Remove the stems from the kale. Stack the leaves on top of one another and slice them crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips; you'll need 3 cups.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the kale, sweet potatoes, lentils, thyme, salt, pepper, and basil (if using). Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Spoon into individual bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan (if using).
Tip: Basic brown lentils retain their shape better during cooking than pricier red and yellow lentils, so they're terrific for soups. You can substitute green lentils, which taste slightly peppery.
To Freeze: Omit the Parmesan. Let the soup cool, then ladle into large resealable bags, filling each one halfway. Store for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Warm in a covered saucepan over medium heat for 20 minutes. Ladle into individual bowls and sprinkle with the Parmesan (if using).
Very good soup, with some minor modifications. I did not drain the tomatoes (I'm really not sure why you would), used quite a bit more herbs than indicated, and used a full cup of lentils. I didn't add the greens until the last 10 minutes to prevent overcooking. I felt like something was missing, so I added a few teaspoons of chopped garlic, and that did the trick. If I made this again, I would probably use vegetable stock instead of water for more flavor.
Great soup. As others mentioned, there's room to double or triple the amount of lentils per the same amount of liquids. I kept the liquids from the tomato can and counted them towards the 6 cups of water in the recipe. I also threw in two cubes of vegetarian bouillon, some fresh garlic, paprika and a touch of chili powder
We thought this was bland made to the recipe but minus the salt. From the beginning, I doubled the lentils and used the juice from the tomatoes. At the end, I put half the recommended salt in, plus pepper, 4 tsp vegetable base, parsley, and 4 cloves of garlic. Then I blended it and we liked it better.
This is an amazing soup even with all the concessions I had to make with it. In order to have leeks, fresh kale and sweet potatoes I would have had a 40-minute round trip to the store. So I used onions, a full cup of lentils (with frozen tomatoes) and dried herbs. After the lentils were cooked I added a can of kale and chopped canned sweet potatoes. I also threw in a couple vegetable bullion cubes, not that they made much of a difference. What a flavorful, healthy soup that I will make often!