This Kale recipe is inspired by Diana Dyer’s blog 365 Days Of Kale. Diana is a nutritionist, a gardener, author and cancer survivor. She attributes a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating dark leafy greens like Kale in part to her recovery. I had a bunch of kale in my frig from the farmers market, which made me think of Diana. This soup is vegan, but you can use chicken stock if you prefer.
French Lentil and Kale Soup
serves 6-8 hearty servings or four with left overs for lunch
2 cups of dry French Lentils (can substitute red or green)
1 bunch of Kale, wash and finely chopped (green curly, red curly, dino, or a combination)
1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes with liquid or 6 fresh large tomatoes diced. (I like fire roasted canned tomatoes)
2 onions small dice
2 cloves of garlic minced
8 -10 cups of water or stock
1-2 tablespoons of Olive or vegetable oil
2-3 tablespoons of Miso*
1/8-1/4 Cup rice vinegar or juice of two lemons
salt and pepper to taste
garnish with chopped scallion and toasted sesame seeds.
*Miso is a fermented bean paste. It can be found in the refrigerated section of most health food stores. There are lighter and darker varieties and a number of variations of grains and beans used. I used a dark 3 year old barley miso for this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite miso or what ever is available.
Add vegetable oil and heat in a large pot. Add the chopped onions and saute for a few minutes. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute, then add the kale and stir in. Cook in the kale for a few minutes. You might need to add a little water to cooked down the kale.
Next, add the lentils and eight cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about an hour. The french lentils will take more time to cook than red or green lentils. If using red of green lentil, simmer for forty minutes. Taste the lentil to see if they are soft and not crunchy. Cook more if needed. After the lentils are soft, add the tomatoes and simmer for another ten minutes. Turn off the heat.
Mix some of the soup broth or some water in a bowl and smash up the miso paste until is becomes a liquid. Stir the miso into the soup. Add the lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds.