We had few rain showers this week that ended our glorious summer and I thought about making soup. I never need an excuse for soup, though. Anytime is a good time for soup BUT cooler weather definitely begs for soup to be made. What do you think?
Red lentil soup is a pretty typical dinner in our house all year round, not just when it is chilly and rainy. Because it is quite filling and ready to serve in 20 minutes. My daughter loves this soup when I serve with polenta croutons or garlic bread. This is really a basic red lentil soup recipe, and of course very flexible and easy to adjust to varying tastes. I often make it with spinach, arugula, lamb quarters and other tender greens, this time it is kale.
Kale, besides being incredibly delicious is a good source of antioxidants including beta carotene as well as vitamin C. It is also rich in manganese and copper. Like many other greens it is easier to digest when cooked, however many of its vitamins are heat sensitive and can be lost during prolonged cooking. For this reason, kale is perfect for lentil soups that are cooked quickly or for other bean soups, add it at the very end.
Enjoy this simple, protein, beta carotene and calcium filled soup that satisfies you completely, anytime of the year.
Make polenta following the recipe here. Cut into 3/4″ cubes. Pat the polenta cubes dry with paper towel.
For fried croutons, heat enough canola oil (to practically cover the croutons) in a pan. Working in batches of 10, carefully add polenta cubes to the oil 1 at a time and fry until golden brown, stirring to keep the cubes separate. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the polenta croutons to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil.
For baked croutons, place croutons on a cookie sheet so they are not touching each other. Bake in in a 400°F for 30-40 min or until golden brown.
- 150 g (3/4 cup) red lentils, rinsed
- 1 small onion, chopped (3/4 cup)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4" piece ginger finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups finely chopped kale
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1-2 tsp garam masala
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp canola oil and butter, each
- polenta croutons and lemon wedges to serve
- In a medium saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium heat.
- Add onions, garlic and ginger. Cook until softened, 2-3 min.
- Add red lentils, kale, turmeric, bay leaf and water(also add tomato paste if using in place of lemon juice).
- Bring it to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cover the pot , simmer for 12-15 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Season with salt, black pepper and garam masala. Stir in lemon juice, throw away the bay leaf.
- Ladle soup into bowls and serve with polenta croutons and additional lemon edges for more tartness.
Shared at Gluten Free Fridays