This hearty and flavorful soup gets a kick from hot and mild spices and fresh lemon juice.
Serves 2 (recipe can easily be doubled)
1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ large onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 cup chopped greens such as kale, mustard or collard greens
1/2 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cooked red lentils
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce can) white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, dill, tarragon, chives or a combination (I used dill, parsley and tarragon) (See note*)
Juice of half a lemon
1. Heat a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat for about 30 seconds. Add onion and carrot, and sauté until soft and browned about, 7 to 10 minutes.
2. Rinse greens and pull leaves off the stems. Chop and set aside.
3. When the onion and carrots are ready, add tomato paste, cumin and red pepper flakes to the pot, and sauté about 1 minute. Add lentils, garlic, ginger and salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add vegetable broth and beans and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 20 minutes.
5. Add greens to the pot and simmer until they are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes (tougher greens like collard greens might take a little longer).
6. Stir herbs and lemon juice into the pot, taste and add more salt, cumin and lemon (if needed) until the broth tastes bright and citrusy.
* Note: If you don't have fresh herbs, you can use a combination of 1/4 cup dried herbs.