Lentil Soup with Braised Kale (pictured with my Sun-dried Tomato Sourdough)

Lentil Soup with Braised Kale

1 small onion - small dice

2 carrots - small dice

2 sticks of celery - small dice

3 cloves garlic - minced

Handful of chopped kale (collard green, or spinach leaves)

1 cup of green lentils (I like lentils du puy but you can use regular lentils)

Water or chicken stock to cover (2 quart)

1 bay leaf

cumin powder (1 tsp or more to your liking)

salt/black pepper

tabasco (optional)

a few splashes of sherry vinegar to balance the acidity

Method:

Sweat onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until soft with olive oil and pinch of kosher salt on medium heat, about 5 minutes.  Add kale and saute a few minutes.  Add lentils and cumin powder, saute for a few minutes. Add water or stock, bay leaf, and bring all to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.  Let simmer for at least 1 hour or until lentils are very tender and greens are soft.  Add more liquid if it looks too thick.  Season with salt/pepper/tabasco/vinegar.  Take an immersion blender, drizzle some high quality olive oil while partially blending half of the soup but keep some chunky!  Or place half of the soup into a blender to blend on high then return it to the pot.  Serves well with creme fraiche, cilantro, and croutons!

** the picture above is my sun-dried tomato sourdough created with wild cultivated yeast that was toasted with olive oil in a cast iron pan.