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Red Lentil and Collards Soup

Tags: main dish, recipe, soup

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.
Red lentil and collards soup.

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.

Fresh, green, young organic collard greens.

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