Rainy, rainy day - the kind of day you run around in the rain doing errands, come home to read the paper - and wake up an hour later, paper still in hand. A dozing day. And I was so happy to have one of my very favorite soups in the fridge, just waiting to be heated up, since I was still in that fuzzy after-nap dreamtime.
While I like pretty much all lentil soup recipes, this one has a little tang to it, in a perky way. You've got bits of juicy tomatoes, the spice of warm cumin, a few hot pepper flakes, lots of kale, and the pop of red wine vinegar, a little reminder of Portuguese cooking. Perfect for a day like today, when you think you just might go from couch to bed.
This makes about 6 servings - a nice potful for a few lunches and suppers.
1 cup regular brown lentils
2 bay leaves
pinch hot pepper flakes
pinch of dried oregano
Cover the lentils with water to spare by about 3 inches, add the herbs and hot pepper flakes, and simmer for 10 minutes, then drain the lentils and put back in the pot. This was a tip I got years ago to keep the lentils from causing any stomach distress some people have with beans.
1 t. oregano
2 T. olive oil
1 t. thyme
1 T. cumin
1 t. basil
1 clove peeled garlic, smushed
1 cup sliced, washed leek whites or 1 medium chopped onion
2 cups canned plum tomatoes, with juices, cut into pieces
3-4 cups torn, clean kale leaves
2 T. red wine vinegar
About 2-3 cups water or chicken or vegetable stock.
salt to taste
Cook the lentils, herbs, tomatoes, vinegar, leeks, and kale, olive oil and garlic for about 15 minutes, or until the kale has wilted. Turn heat to low and simmer another ten minutes, tasting the liquid before adding salt. The liquid should cover the beans and greens just barely.
Taste, take off heat, and let sit before tasting again before serving. This is wonderful with warm, crusty bread with sweet butter or olive oil dipping sauce., along with a bottle of hot sauce on the table. This soup freezes beautifully, by the way.
Stay warm and dry !
What I'm reading:
Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless