A good soup can make you feel warm and amazing inside, especially during the cold winter months. So many soups out there contain dairy though, which isn’t great for you or your digestion. But Beauties, there are so many great ways to enjoy soup without dairy, especially if you make it yourself. That’s why I’m excited to share my hearty lentil and kale soup recipe with all my soup-loving Beauties.
This easy, vegan soup recipe is full of powerful nutrients, protein, and fiber that will help keep you satisfied while also providing your body the nutrition it needs to be at its best.
If you’re worried about your sodium intake, don’t worry! The simple broth is made with wholesome plant-based ingredients, and it’s a wonderful low-sodium alternative to boxed vegetable broth or stock.
It’s important to eat soup at the beginning of your meal, unless it’s a big, filling soup. This thick, almost stew-like soup would probably work best as an entree rather than an appetizer, but it’s so perfect for when you need something warm and comforting to eat.
Health Benefits of Kale
Before kale was rightfully recognized as a superfood in recent years, you may have been most familiar with its decorative use at your local salad bar. Thankfully, the buzz about this amazing leafy green has ensured that it has become a recommended diet staple and not just a decoration around the croutons and salad dressing.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. It’s a very low-calorie, nutrient-dense food that contains amazing amounts of vitamin C, K, and A, as well as a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid called alpha linolenic acid.
Kale is also high in antioxidants like beta carotene, vitamin C, and flavonoids to help protect your body from disease. It’s also a good source of zeaxanthin and lutein, which are great for your eye health.
Not too shabby for something once known only as a decorative plant. :)
The Different Types of Kale
There are a lot of different kinds of kale out there! Like I said above, some kale is also commonly used for decorative purposes, but every kind listed is edible.
- Curly kale
- Lacinato kale
- Chinese kale
- Ornamental kale
- Siberian kale
- Red Russian
- Redbor kale
While curly kale and lacinato kale are probably the easiest kinds to find at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, any type of kale should work in this recipe. So go ahead and experiment to see what you like best!
Are Lentils Good for You?
Absolutely— lentils are a great source of B vitamins, potassium, iron and plant-based protein. They’re also a great source of fiber.
Lentils are also high in compounds called polyphenols, which can have amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on your body. These compounds may also be beneficial for improving your blood sugar levels.
One thing to consider with lentils though is that they do contain what are called antinutrients, such as phytic acid or trypsin inhibitors, which can reduce your body’s absorption of some nutrients. However, soaking and cooking your lentils will minimize any antinutrients that may be lurking in them, so don’t worry! You can enjoy your lentils and still take advantage of all their amazing benefits.
Combining lentils and kale make this soup a nutritional powerhouse I know you’re going to love!
How to Cook Lentils
Dried lentils of all kinds are widely available in all grocery stores, and they’re a very inexpensive staple to keep in your pantry. There are a lot of different kinds of lentils out there: brown lentils, yellow lentils, red lentils, et cetera.
If you’ve never cooked lentils before, they’re not difficult to prepare at all. First, you want to make sure you rinse your lentils before you cook them to remove any potential impurities.
Next, you’ll want to put your lentils in a pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Split red lentils require even less time— they can cook up within five minutes!
This is how you’ll want to prepare lentils for most recipes. However, for recipes like soup, you can cook your lentils in the broth you’re using! Just remember to rinse them first.
What is Nutritional Yeast?
If you’re new to a plant-based diet, then nutritional yeast might sound odd to you. But this yellow, flaky ingredient packs a powerful nutritional punch, and adds so much flavor to your recipes and snacks!
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of brewer’s yeast or baker’s yeast. You can’t use it in your baked goods though— because it’s deactivated, nutritional yeast won’t help your dough rise.
Nutritional yeast is a good source of protein and is an amazing source of vitamin B12, which is very important for a plant-based diet. Nutritional yeast has a savory, nutty, or cheesy flavor, which makes it very popular for vegan dishes that would otherwise require cheese.
Whether you’re expecting colder weather or not, this is a perfect soup for any weather. It’s warm, hearty, healthy, and so satisfying.
Lots of love,
Hearty Lentil and Kale Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion chopped (Optional)
- 3 garlic cloves minced and 1 garlic clove, mashed (Optional)
- 6½ cups water
- 1¼ cup brown lentils rinsed and drained
- ½ large bunch coarsely chopped kale
- 1 medium russet potato diced
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent and lightly browned.
- Add the water, lentils, and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover partially and continue to boil over medium heat until the lentils are barely tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add the kale and potatoes to the pot and bring the mixture back to a gentle boil. (If you feel that your soup is too thick, you can add a little more water, but the soup is meant to be thick!) Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fully cooked through and the soup is thickened.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the lemon juice and 1 clove of mashed garlic and nutritional yeast, plus additional salt and pepper to taste. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings, such as adding more nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, or more lemon juice.
- Ladle into bowls and add any optional garnishes.
- Optional Garnishes: Red pepper flakes, Parsley, a lemon wedge, slice of gluten-free crusty bread, more vegetables, such as carrot slices, chopped celery, or butternut squash
More Warm and Comforting Soup Recipes
Few things are as comforting as a good bowl of warm soup, especially on chilly days. Here are a few of my favorite soup recipes that you can enjoy year-round and in any weather.
- Raw Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
- Vegan Curry Lentil Soup
- Vegan Mushroom, Kale & Parsley Tom Kha Soup (Tom Kha soup is my favorite!)
- Savory Cinnamon Noodle Soup
- Glowing Green Soup (GGSo)
- Creamy Roasted Sweet Beetroot Soup