Winter just does not seem to want to stop this year here in Shanghai! So I’m making a sour lentil and kale soup for dinner tonight. It’s all gorgeously green and I am using my own homemade vegetable broth - double yay! You can of course use any kind of broth you have in your pantry. And just a word of warning - if you are not a fan of lemon, leave it completely out. This soup is very sour to heat you up from the inside. So start with the lemon juice sparingly.
Since this soup takes quite a while to cook, I make a big batch and then eat from it for a few days. You can cut the cooking time of lentils by soaking them overnight beforehand. The fibrous structure breaks open, the nutrients are easier to digest, and cooking time can be cut by almost half the time.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 50 minutes
For 4 servings:
½ cup finely chopped white onion (about ¼ to ½ white onion)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¾ cups brown lentils, rinsed
1.5 liters broth (vegetable broth or any other kind you like)
3 cups kale, finely chopped
¼ cup lemon juice (from ½ - 1 lemon)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Start with the onion, garlic, and olive oil in a big pot or wok. Heat over medium heat and keep stirring until slightly browned. If the onions and garlic are burning too quickly, add splashes of water to keep them moist. Stir fry them for about 6 minutes.
Next, add the lentils, stir quickly, and add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 45 minutes. After this time, the lentils should be soft, but still have some bite to them. This means you don’t want them to completely fall apart. If they are still too tough, continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
Add the finely chopped kale and stir for 2 minutes. Then add the lemon juice, season with sea salt and black pepper. Done!
Bonus note: The soup keeps well in the fridge and the taste actually intensifies!