This was one of your all-time favorite recipes from The Chew days! A faintly sweet and nicely spiced, ultra-creamy gateway soup packed with plenty of plant protein and veg, it will definitely eat like a meal and keep you full. Pro tip: Top with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon or lime to boost the flavor and this soup’s detoxifying potential!
Serving Size: 8 people
¼ cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp coriander
½ teaspoon chipotle chili (optional, leave out if you don’t like heat)
2 bay leaves
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
4 carrots, sliced into ¼” coins
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups of red lentils
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (optional)
6 cups of water or veg broth
½ cup white wine (or ½ additional cup water or broth)
1 head lacinato kale, shredded
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Pulled leaves of cilantro, mint or parsley
Fresh lime juice
•To a heavy pot, over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the diced onion. Season with a teaspoon of salt and sauté for 3 minutes or until soft. Add in the dried spices and bay leaves, stir to coat in the oil, and fry 1 minute. Feel free to experiment with dried spices of your choosing – I love chipotle, cumin and oregano, but you can add curry, cinnamon, ginger, etc.
•Add the celery, carrots and sweet potato and cook for 5 more minutes. Add in the lentils and cook for about 2 minutes, toasting in the oil. Add in the garlic and dates and stir to combine before pouring the water, broth or wine and a pinch of salt. Stir, and bring to a boil uncovered. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer for about 15 minutes.
•After 15 minutes, scoop out the bay leaves (or just remember to fish them out before you serve). Carefully stir in the kale. Cook for another 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through but not mushy. Once cooked, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and garnish to your liking. I love a drizzle of additional olive oil or chili oil, a generous pinch of fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lime juice.