By FRANCESCA SHANKS
Such protein! So few calories! So healthy! So simple! This is another recipe that gets me warm inside—I think it’s the basil and oregano and tomatoes in a can, which are the flavors of my childhood.
I had the flu recently and started fever-dreaming about making this soup once I got my appetite back—I was in pretty desperate need of some restorative nutrients by Friday evening, and this hit the spot. Plus, it’s easy and low-maintenance, so I could lie down pretty much the whole time it was cooking. It’s basically a red sauce with lentils and kale living in it. Rustic, and classic. Yum.
Lentil-tomato soup with kale and Italian seasonings
2 tbsp lard or butter
1 onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, diced
1 large can whole tomatoes
3 cups green lentils
6-8 cups chicken broth
1-2 cups water
1/2 bunch chopped kale leaves
1 1/2 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp basil
kosher salt and pepper to taste
Heat lard in saucepot on stovetop on medium-high; add onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Add tomatoes, crushing each one good and pulpy in your hand as you put them in the pot, then adding leftover tomato sauce. Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, lentils and water; stir, bring to boil, then let simmer for an hour to an hour and a half, until lentils are soft and most of liquid has been absorbed. Stir in kale and continue to simmer for 10 minutes or so, then serve. You’ll probably want some nice crusty bread on the side.
Francesca Shanks is a writer and editor living in Berkshire County, Mass., with her husband and three dogs. A New York native, she's happy to know the Hoosic River runs into the Hudson. More of her writing can be found at www.northadamsnest.com and www.francescaolsen.wordpress.com.