Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

16 February 2010

Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Kale

I love a good lentil and vegetable soup. It's just simple food that's easy and inexpensive to put together and soul satisfying. It's perfect for this inbetween time of year, not quite Winter but not quite Spring. It incorporates the fresh flavors of the upcoming season with the hearty, earthiness of the winter season just past.

I add Dinosaur Kale for it's vibrant color and also the deep, rich flavor that only dark winter greens can provide. Kale is abundant at my Farmer's Market right now and I just can't seem to get enough of it. It might even be rivaling avocados and chocolate for one of my favorite foods... really!!

I serve this soup with a citrusy-herby yogurt sauce on top which really freshens and lightens up the whole dish. The yogurt adds tang and a little creaminess when it melts into the hot soup.

This dish is hearty enough by itself that all it really needs are some toasted pitas alongside and a simple salad to complete the meal. Enjoy!

For the soup:
Yields about 8 cups (4 generous servings)

2 TB Olive Oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium ribs celery, diced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 bulb fennel, diced
1 1/2 cups dry brown or green lentils
1 bunch Dinosaur Kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red chile flakes
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 TB chopped fresh mint
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped

1) In a large stockpot heat 2 TB Olive Oil over medium high. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and fennel and saute until just softened about 2-3 minutes. Add the lentils, the salt, pepper, cumin, red chile flakes, rosemary, and oregano and stir to combine. Add the stock, water and the Kale. Cover the pot to wilt the Kale, about 1 minute. Stir to combine.

2) Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil. With the lid ajar, simmer the soup about 15-20 minutes until the lentils are just tender.

3) While the soup is cooking, make the yogurt sauce. 

4) Once the lentils are tender and the soup is ready, stir in the mint and scallions. Adjust the seasoning.

For the yogurt sauce:
1 cup lowfat greek yogurt, or other thick strained yogurt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 TB chopped fresh mint

1) Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Dollop a tablespoon onto the hot soup when ready to serve. Garnish with chiffonade of fresh mint.

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