This simple, hearty, brothy lentil soup makes the house smell amazing, because of the aromatics like garlic, curry powder, thyme, and cumin.
This soup takes about 1 hour from start to finish, with about 20 minutes of active work. It makes 6 complete meals, and is perfect for batch cooking, eating some, and freezing the rest. It may seem like this soup contains a lot of oil, but it only ends up being about 1 Tbsp per serving, and the oil is an important part of what makes the soup so rich and flavorful.
- 1 lb diced onion
- 1 lb chopped carrots, or just 2 lb total of onions and carrots
- 2 large cans, 28-oz diced tomatoes, with juice
- 2 cups chopped fresh collard greens or kale
- 2 cups dry brown, green, or yellow large lentils, 16 oz
- 3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil, 6 Tbsp
Condiments & Spices
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp good quality sea salt, more to taste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Large pinch red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 medium lemon, to taste
- Heat the olive oil over a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
- Pour in the lentils, broth and the water.
- Add salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
- Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
- Cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- Optional: In a blender, puree 2 cups of the soup and return it to the pot, or use an immersion blender briefly to partially puree the soup for thickness.
- Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and purée the soup until smooth.
- Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing.
- Add the chopped greens. If batch cooking and freezing, I leave out the greens and just add them to individual bowls at the time of serving. I don’t really like how greens get when they are frozen. They don’t need to be cooked, they will wilt nicely into the hot soup.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or the soup can be frozen for several months.