Living in Istanbul, lentil soup is a mainstay in Turkish cuisine that I simply cannot live without - let alone avoid, even if I tried. Lentils are full of fiber and protein and fill me up without weighing me down. In a soup, they are heaven, offering a much-needed creamy touch to a plant-based lifestyle. This lentil soup recipe is boosted with other superfoods, including kale, black-eyed peas and chickpeas. Enjoy!
Heart-Healthy Lentil Soup Recipe
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2 carrots, chopped, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound kale leaves, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 generous tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups dry green lentils
- 16 ounces cooked black-eyed peas (or any other bean)
- 16 ounces cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 10 cups of water
- Fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, lemon zest and olive oil for garnish
In a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onion, carrot, celery, salt and pepper. Sweat for about 3-4 minutes, stirring with a spatula. Add the kale and garlic and continue to saute until the mix has reduced in volume by one-half.
Stir in the tomato paste and add the remaining ingredients, but only 6 cups of the water. Stir until evenly combined. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a lid on the pot and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the lentils begin to get larger and soften. Add the remaining water 1 cup at a time until it reaches the thickness that you desire. I stop at 2 cups, but you can add 4 more cups. Put the lid back on the pot and let simmer for another 20-25 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and the lentils and beans completely cooked.
Set aside the pot and let it cool slightly before blending it. Enjoy it chunky or smooth, depending on your preference. Serve hot or cold and with a drizzle of olive oil and a garnish of fresh parsley, red pepper flakes and lemon zest for flavor.
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Photo Credit: glowkitchen