08 March 2009

Lentil Soup with Ribbons of Kale

I've been, uh, eating out a lot over the last 8 days. So today I decided to cook at home and make another one of my favorite soups with greens - Lentil Soup with Ribbons of Kale. I do not deny that the use of the word "ribbons" to describe the kale is a major reason I was attracted to this recipe. What a delightfully Nigella-esque name for a recipe among the otherwise less-illustrative titles in Fresh from the Vegetarian Crock Pot.

Considering the full flavor results of this soup, it's actually a surprisingly simple recipe. It doesn't even call for any herbs and I leave the celery out every time ... still it's always delicious. I think it's the crock pot. The slow cooked lentils are not like other lentils. Other lentils wish they could be as delicious as slow cooked lentils. But they are not. And of course for my ribbons I used my frozen local kale. Just dropped it in during the last half hour in the crock pot and thirty minutes later my delicious all day soup was done. I can't wait to eat it for lunch tomorrow.

From Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker

Collards, chard, or other dark greens may be substituted for the kale.
I prefer to cook the greens in advance and add them when the soup is
ready to eat, because cooking the raw greens right in the soup can
impart a bitter flavor.

Slow Cooker Size: 4 to 6 quart
Cook Time: 8 hours
Setting: Low
Serves: 6

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 Tablespoon tamari or other soy sauce
salt and pepper
4 or 5 large kale leaves, tough stems removed

my notes:
add a few drops of liquid smoke

you can toss in a pinch of curry powder if you want

1) Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion,
celery, carrot, and garlic, cover, and cook until softened, 8 to 10
2) Transfer the cooked vegetables to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, add
the lentils, stock, and tamari; cover, and cook on Low for 8 hours.
Season with salt and pepper.
3) Meanwhile, or beforehand, tightly roll the kale leaves up like a
cigar and cut them crosswise into this ribbons. Cook the kale in a pot
of boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes, and add to the
soup when ready to serve.

AN IMPORTANT FINAL TIP: Don't forget to plug in the crock pot.

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