A hearty soup that you’d never know was vegan. A simple, full-flavored soup that’s perfect for a weeknight meal.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
28 oz diced tomatoes, lightly drained
1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tsp salt, more to taste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
1 to 2 Tbsp lemon juice (1/2 to 1 medium lemon), to taste
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Securely fasten the lid, 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. (Or, use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup.)
- Add the chopped greens and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. For spicier soup, add another pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
- Serve while hot. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).
4 large servings or 6 modest servings