I've never cooked with lentils before. Isn't that weird? I have no idea why I haven't, especially as lentils are super healthy and I eat a ton of beans as it is. A girl I work with was eating an awesome-looking soup with lentils the other day and I instantly decided I was going to make a soup, too.
I'll be honest; I was pretty shocked at how good this soup turned out. I mean, not that I thought it would be bad or anything, but I totally made up the recipe as I was going along. I wanted to make something with kale because it's the new year and I'm trying to eat more greens, and I just kind of thought kale might be good with lentils and eggplant was hanging out too so it turned into a party and man was the party effing GOOD.
I never peel eggplant because I like the skin, but you should feel free to peel yours if you make this. Kale, Eggplant & Lentil Soup is chock full of fiber and will keep you full for way longer than you expect. This soup is an entire meal, ideal for lunch or for dinner. It's really a great winter soup; it will keep you hale and hearty (using kale!) It won't protect you from strange rhyming puns, but it is totally gluten-free and vegan (uh, if you're a vegan just omit the cheese in the pictures). And it tastes even better on the second day.
It's snowing where I am so all I plan to do is curl up with a bowl of this and The Bachelor and veg out until I have to work at eight tomorrow morning. And what are y'all having for dinner?
total time: 45 minutes
total hands on time: 15-20 minutes
What you'll need:
1 cup dried lentils
1 small onion, diced
2 tsps fresh chopped garlic
1/2 of an eggplant, diced (skin on)
3 cups raw kale, torn or cut into small pieces
1/4 cup of white wine
at least a tsp of dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 qts broth
salt and pepper
What you'll do:
1. Put the lentils in a saucepan with just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for about 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Rinse the lentils in a colander and set aside.
2. Dice the onion and saute on medium-high in olive oil until soft and translucent, about 6 or 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute longer.
3. Next, add the chopped eggplant, a dash of salt and a good amount of dried basil and stir well. Saute for another few minutes, adding more olive oil if neccessary.
4. Pour in the white wine and cook until liquid is reduced.
5. Add the lentils, broth and bay leaf and cook on medium-low for 15-20 minutes. The liquid should have a good simmer, but never come to a complete boil.
6. Toss in the kale and cook until it's very well-wilted. You might also add in some additional seasonings here; I did a little bit of a Mediterraean herb blend.
Serve topped with fresh parmesan and black pepper. Be pleasantly surprised at how something so healthy can taste so damn good.