Last week, I made one of the best impromptu dishes that I’ve made in a long time. I got the idea from a great local place, Pure Fare, which specializes in fresh, natural and healthy foods. Mainly, they serve sandwiches and soups but also have specialty items like a delicious quinoa quiche that we’ve enjoyed on a couple of occasions. We went there because we had a lousy lunch at another unnamed place and needed a do-over. One of the things we had was a wonderful lentil and root vegetable soup. I enjoyed the combination of lentils with the root vegetables, especially the butternut squash.
At the time, we had a sweet potato at home and we decided we wanted to try a variation on this soup. We also had some kale, so we aimed for a lentil, sweet potato and kale soup. I didn’t have much to go on except what I remembered from Pure Fare and Holly’s experience with making awesome soups. In many ways, this is a variation on her Smoky Yam Soup.
I began by chopping up the sweet potato and a bit of carrot. I tossed those with some salt and pepper and smoked olive oil. I roasted those until soft while simmering the lentils.
After about 30 minutes, the potato and carrots were starting to get soft. We’ve come to like using tea instead of broth in soups, so I added about 3 cups of green tea. That’s a bit more than Holly tends to use but I wanted this to be a little thinner than her soups since the lentils were going to thicken it.
I seasoned the soup with some smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes.
Once the mixture was well-blended, probably about 15 minutes or so, I used a stick immersion blender to make it smooth. I then stirred in the kale and added the lentils.
We were very pleased with how this soup turned out. The combination of lentils, sweet potato and kale was better than we hoped and the spicy and smoky flavors totally worked.