Serve this soup on a chilly evening and you'll instantly be warmed and comforted. This is a hearty soup, but not a heavy one. The citrus lends a bright, complex flavor, and fresh collards provide the perfect complement. As a bonus, red lentils are packed with protein. (Can't find red lentils? Any other type will work just fine.)
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 pound collards
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- Salt to taste
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Warm 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook until translucent and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in lentils and cook for 1 minute. Stir in stock.
- Bring to a boil, then turn heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, remove the stems and midribs from the collards, chop into 1-inch pieces, rinse in cool water, and drain.
- When the lentils are tender, stir in the collards, cumin, and cinnamon. If the soup is too thick for your preference, stir in additional stock or water.
- Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Stir in lemon or lime juice and salt to taste and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired.
- Serve immediately.
Featured Ingredient: Collards
Collards are a leafy, cool-weather vegetable very popular in soups and stews, especially in the South. But their usefulness doesn't stop there. Collards are excellent in many different types of dishes and can be a great substitute for kale in most instances. A member of the cabbage family, this upright, dark green, waxy plant is packed full of vitamins and nutrients, has anti-inflammatory properties, and can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves hold up quite well to cooking. Their flavor is only slightly bitter, and becomes sweeter after a frost. (Younger leaves have a milder flavor.) Collards can grow in many different regions of the country and are easy plants to grow in a small bed or large pot during the spring and fall months, and even over the winter in warmer areas of the country. Learn how to grow your own collards..