1# red lentils (a 1 pound bag is ~2-1/2 cups, but the recipe is flexible here)
6-8 cups broth or water
1 quart canned tomatoes
curry and salt and pepper to taste
Kale - couple of handfuls, chopped or thinly sliced (tough center stem removed)
I rinse the lentils and look them over for any small stones, always, no matter if I purchase them in bulk or in a bag. Yes, it is an annoyance, but cracking a tooth is far more annoying!
I cook the lentils in my crockpot in this broth or water without adding any further ingredients at this point, to make sure the lentils are really cooked and essentially fall apart. They will no longer be 'red' at this point. Using the low setting, it may take anywhere from 6-8 hours to have them be done, done, done. My husband simply will not eat lentils or beans of any kind unless they are completely soft. Having them be half-done or even 90% done leads to a complete rejection! (And who can blame him?)
At that point, and only at that point, I will add 1 quart of canned tomatoes (I have found through trial and error that adding tomatoes earlier will keep the lentils from fully cooking to that soft point) and anything else you would like to flavor the soup. I like to add my chopped kale at the very end, so it is hot but still bright green and has some texture. My favorite seasoning is curry powder with extra turmeric (as much and as spicy as you like). Experiment by starting with small amounts of your seasonings until you find the spiciness level that your family will eat. I will spice up my own bowl to my own liking at the table as my spicy enjoyment level is higher than my husband's.
Salt and pepper to taste.
|(Photo: Easy Red Lentil Soup with Kale)|
Here is a link to a more complicated recipe on my dianadyer blog where I also combined red lentils and kale. Although it was delicious using the fish broth and additional vegetables, I have never made it again. However, I repeat, I make the simple recipe that I have sketched out above above over and over! :)
Where kale is more than decoration on my plate - it's also regularly in my crock-pot! :)
Diana Dyer, MS, RD