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Lentil Soup with Kale (Sopa de Lentilhas com Couve)

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I feel like crying when I realize it is just mid-September, but I am already posting soup recipes… It has been a cold September here in Indiana and the soup crave has started. I love soups and having lots of it is definitely my favorite part of winter – the only pleasant part of winter in my opinion. Yes, I am a summer girl!

So to make those cold evenings cozier, I think this soup fits the bill just fine! It is hearty and simple, yet it is packed with tons of good-for-you ingredients.

Lentils and kale is a combination that has been used in Brazilian cuisine forever (beans and kale too). In fact, kale is a very widely used ingredient in Brazil since pretty much forever… I honestly think it is so funny how just recently (I would say maybe in the last 3 or 4 years?) kale has become a trendy ingredient in the US. It became a synonym of healthy food, hard-to-drink smoothies and green-anything culinary. But I am SO glad America discovered kale and I really hope people keep experimenting with this nutritious ingredient! So get warm and feel good with this easy-to-make soup.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup bacon, finely diced (about 4 to 5 strips)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups kale, finely diced, hard steams and ends discarded
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 large Roma tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 pound (2 cups) lentils
  • 11 cups hot water
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon (good quality)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large pot, heat up olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until fully cooked, but not quite crispy; 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft; 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, kale, and carrots and cook until kale has softened; 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until incorporated; 2 minutes.

Add lentils, hot water, chicken bouillon and bay leaves. Stir well and bring to a soft boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, with lid tilted, stirring occasionally, 35 to 45 minutes – until lentils are soft (see Cook’s Note). If broth becomes too thick during cooking process, add more water. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:

I like to eat my lentils on the softer side, so I usually simmer this soup for about 45 minutes. If you prefer lentils that have a more “al dente” texture, remove from heat sooner.

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