Lentils are one of my favorite cold weather foods. I have a simple way of preparing them with a little pancetta and a handful of greens, which I adore. One of my favorite soups is Grass Fed Beef with Lentil Soup and I was just thinking it was time to start cooking with lentils again when Mary Lou, a dear friend of The Fountain Avenue Kitchen, shared her favorite lentil soup recipe.
Mary Lou’s recipe immediately caught my eye for several reasons. First, it is a slow cooker recipe that is so easy to throw together. Second, the incorporation of not only the sweet potatoes and jalapeño, but also the curry and ginger, really appealed to me. This recipe was a little different that the traditional lentil soup but looked like it had great potential. Works well as a vegetarian meal, too.
The first time I prepared this, the amazing aroma wowed me. Walking into my house after being out for several hours was something to savor. Importantly, the taste matched the aroma. I tweaked the original recipe ever so slightly by increasing the onion, garlic and ginger and adding the kale. This will absolutely be a go-to meal for its wholesomeness, ease of preparation and, most importantly, taste. Thank you Mary Lou!
Yields 8 servings
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped (About 3 cups; I did not peel, but peel if desired.)
- 1 cup dry brown lentils
- 1 cup chopped onion (I used red; yellow would be fine, too)
- 1 medium fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 (14-oz) cans chicken or vegetable broth (or use homemade; have extra on hand to thin any leftovers)
- 1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (could use 1 teaspoon if you prefer a more subtle ginger flavor)
- 3-4 cups lightly packed kale or spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Optional garnishes: plain yogurt or sour cream, jalapeno, crushed red pepper
In a 4 – 5 quart slow cooker, combine sweet potatoes, lentils, onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Add broth, undrained tomatoes, curry and ginger.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 – 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 – 4 hours.
Add the kale or spinach and salt and pepper during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Check for seasoning and garnish with yogurt or sour cream, chili peppers and/or crushed red pepper if desired.