Friday, October 26, 2012

Lentil and Kale Soup

As the weather grows colder I start to crave hot, hearty, comforting soups for dinner. This lentil and kale soup hits the spot. I love the smoky flavour from the bacon and smoked paprika. I also love that it’s so nutritious and full for fibre. Poor Bennett was struggling with tummy pains all weekend until finally Sunday night he was in agony so I ended up taking him to the ER. We spend four hours there getting a blood test and X-ray only to discover he was just constipated. I was stumped about how it happened because he eats a lot of fibre and hasn’t ever had a problem with this before. I eventually figured out that he had been sneaking cheese strings from the fridge and ate an entire bag in a few days! Cheese is apparently very constipating. So to help Bennett, I made sure to serve him foods that were high in fibre. With 8 grams of fibre per serving, this soup was just what the doctor ordered. I told Bennett it would help his tummy, so he gobbled it up. Cole seemed to enjoy it too. They’re not usually that keen on soup, but this was so thick that it was really more like a stew. This recipe makes a ton of soup, so I froze half of it to enjoy later. It’s always nice to have soup in the freezer to pull out for dinner when I’m feeling lazy.

Lentil and Kale Soup
Adapted from Today’s Parent Oct/12- “Delicious Lentil and Kale Soup”
1 tbsp olive oil
4 strips turkey bacon or turkey kielbasa, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups green lentils
8 cups vegetable stock (homemade or sodium-free)
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups kale, chopped with stems and mid-ribs removed
salt, to taste
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Saute bacon in oil until browned. Add onion, carrot and celery and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and paprika, cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste, lentils, vegetable stock, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer covered for 15 min. Add kale and simmer for another 15 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are cooked through. Add parsley and salt to taste.