Some of my favorite kale recipes don’t seem to involve very much kale at all. When cooked, kale breaks down and reduces in volume, leaving it only a fraction of its former self. However, this isn’t a bad thing. It means you can get a lot more green in your body with each bite, and, because it’s cooked, have better access to nutrients that would otherwise be hard for your body to digest given kale’s tough skin. This lentil, bean and kale soup recipe is an example of how I get my kale in without realizing it.
But let’s not forget the other ingredients in this bean and kale soup – veggie galore! I can’t think of anything more satisfying on a cool Autumn day than a hearty soup that packs both protein and fiber. And the broth is one of a kind – giving you a savory, vitamin-and-nutrient-filled elixir that will keep you safe from colds all season long. Many soups rely on excessive sodium and beef or chicken broths to boost flavor. But no need for that in this dish — the veggies make their own broth that warms the soul!
You can also make this bean and kale soup in advance and freeze part of it for later if you don’t plan on eating it all in one week. Enjoy!
But first, here’s the down(g)low on kale:
Kale: contains nearly 20 percent of the RDA of dietary fiber in just one cup, is packed with carotenoids and flavonoids that fight against cancer, is anti-inflammatory with its omega-3 fatty acids content, prevents colon, bladder, breast, prostate, ovarian and gastric cancer, promotes cardiovascular health, is essential for detoxification, strengthens the bones, boosts immunity, lowers blood pressure, promotes a healthy immune system, and contributes to healthy vision. Essentially, it is the panacea of health woes – full of cleansing chlorophyll and can prevent most all diseases!
Autumn Soup: Lentil, Bean & Kale Soup:
- 1 bunch kale leaves
- 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) chick peas
- 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black eyed peas
- ¼ cup red lentils
- ¼ cup green lentils
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup cabbage, chopped
- 1 scallion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, whole
- ¼ red bell pepper, diced
- 1 sweet green pepper, diced
- 16 ounces canned crushed tomato
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon red pepper paste (sub with 1 tablespoon tomato paste if unable to find)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 -3 cups water
Sauté the diced onions, carrots, cabbage red pepper and scallions with garlic cloves in olive oil until they start becoming soft. Chop kale leaves and add them to the pan. Sauté another 5 minutes. The kale leaves will lose their volume. Next add tomato and red pepper paste, mashing them with a spatula to disperse them throughout the mixture. Once evenly combined, add the crushed tomato and beans. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil and soy sauce.
Add water so that there is a 2-inch difference between the top of the water and the top of the mixture. Cook it 30-40 minutes until carrot and kale leafs are soft enough to eat. Add water if necessary.
Be sure to serve it so that the veggies overwhelm the broth. It’s super chunky!
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