Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winter Lentil Soup

Hands-on time: 20 minutes total time: 1 hour

4 leeks, white and light green parts only
1 bunch kale
1 TB Olive oil
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, drained
6 cups water
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a ½ inch dice
½ cup brown lentils
1 TB fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
12 fresh basil leaves
¼ cup (1 ounce) grated fresh parmesan for topping if desired

Slice each leek in half lengthwise, then slice each half into ¼ inch half-moons (about 2 cups). Place in 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 ½ inch wide strips—you’ll need 3 cups. Heat the oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 3 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 bowls and top with parmesan if using.

My variation:
I used low sodium chicken broth for most of the water and it added a lot of depth to the flavor. We aren’t tomato people, so I put in about half the amount of tomatoes and it was SOOO yum. My grocery store didn’t have brown lentils and I had red on hand so I used those. They certainly didn’t take 30 minutes to cook. It got done much faster. I use one sweet potato and one yam. My whole family and everyone I have shared this with absolutely LOVES this soup. (even Nick and he’s not a soup guy) It totally takes you by surprise. Hope you enjoy!

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