Spiced Lentil Soup over Basmati Rice

This week was a pretty interesting week in the plant-based community.  The World Health Organization released on Monday that processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs and ham are now being classified as carcinogenic and are being placed in the same danger category as smoking and asbestos.

While this is not new information by any means, it is a great step forward to help educate the public about the negative affects of processed meats on the human body.  Our governing agencies have an obligation to be transparent with the public with regards to food safety and especially when foods are scientifically proven to be carcinogenic.  This is a small but very important step in the right direction towards the growing ethical food movement.

In honor of such a great step forward, I bring you a delicious plant-based and non-carcinogenic recipe adapted by fellow food blogger Cookie and Kate 

What I love about this recipe is that it is simple, meaning I had most of these ingredients already in my pantry, yet beautifully complex in flavor.  Indian spices add a delicious warmth to the dish and the kale adds a hearty texture.  I chose to serve this soup over Basmati Rice, which almost makes the soup act like a curry, depending on how much rice you put in your bowl.

This is a perfect meal for a chilly Autumn evening, and I have a feeling it will become a staple in my soup rotation come Winter.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
  • Juice of ½ lemon, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
  3. Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  4. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot and add the chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking.
  5. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately.
EntreesAlicia Uhl