A soup made with ingredients on hand; this hearty lentil stew is a warm and filling meal perfect in the cold months of Chicago’s winter. The recipe can easily be modified to fit whatever the ingredients you have and is designed with leftovers in mind. Made for two tonight with plenty for tomorrow’s lunch.
1 1/2 cup lentils soaked for at least an hour
8 cups vegetable stock
2 large carrots chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
5 cups kale (bite sized pieces)
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño
1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
1 teaspoon turmeric
Sort through the lentils making sure that there are no foreign objects in the mix (stones or anything else you wouldn’t want in your soup), rinse thoroughly. Pre-soak the lentils for about an hour or more, this will allow them to soak up some water and soften up a bit before you add them to the soup.
Prepare your ingredients; chop the carrots, celery, and mince the jalapeños. Remove the stems from the kale and tear the leaves into bite size pieces.
Warm your soup pot over medium heat with a splash of olive oil, add jalapeños and fry for a moment. Toss in black mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop, add cumin, turmeric, & asafetida. Once cumin seeds begin to brown, add vegetable broth. Be careful, as the pot is hot; it will steam and hiss as the stock pours in.
Add lentils and bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes. Include carrots and celery and return to a boil. Add kale and simmer until all ingredients are cooked to the desired tenderness. Salt to taste and enjoy.