Easy home recipe: Wholesome lentil and kale soup from Tablescape's chef
Chef Armando Aristarco shows you how garlic oil and a kick of chilli make this vegetarian soup both healthful and delicious.
On days when you don’t want to sit down to eat an elaborate meal, a nourishing soup into which you can dunk a little bread is a great option.
At modern European restaurant Tablescape, you can get a chickpea soup with sauteed vegetables. But if you want to whip up something really easy at home, executive chef Armando Aristarco suggested his recipe for a healthy and filling kale and lentil soup.
It calls for only five simple ingredients, and is suitable for vegans. And while the soup isn't bursting with colour – here, he uses brown lentils, but you can use any kind you like – it's certainly full of flavour thanks to the addition of garlic-infused olive oil.
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You can also make it for children and toddlers, chef Armando shared, by omitting the garlic and chilli and adding a little Parmesan cheese and bite-sized pasta. He’s even tried and tested it on his own daughter.
Serve it with a piece of toasted bread, and you have a quick, easy and wholesome meal suitable for family members of all ages.
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KALE AND LENTIL SOUP
Serves: 3 to 4 persons
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes (excluding soaking of lentils)
300 grams fresh kale
250 grams dried lentils
2 garlic cloves
1 Bird’s eye chilli
Parmesan to taste (optional)
Bread to accompany (optional)
1. Wash and rinse the lentils.
2. Soak the rinsed lentils in water. Set aside for 30 minutes.
3. Set a pot of water to boil. While waiting, finely chop 1 clove of garlic and place in a separate small pot or pan.
4. By this time, the water should be close to a boil. Rinse the kale and cut it up into slightly smaller pieces. It doesn’t have to be fine – a rough chop will do.
5. When the water has boiled, add salt, then lower the heat and place the kale inside to blanch for roughly 3 to 5 minutes, or just until soft and intensely green.
6. Going back to the garlic, drizzle some olive oil over – just enough to cover the garlic. Set the pot on very low heat and allow the garlic to infuse into the oil.
7. The kale should be ready by this time. Remove it from the hot water and set aside to cool. Reserve the pot of hot water the kale was blanched in.
8. When the lentils have soaked for roughly 30 minutes, thoroughly drain the lentils and add to the same pot of hot water that the kale was cooked in. They should be cooked in this water for roughly 20 minutes, on a medium simmer.
9. Very important: While waiting for the lentils, have a quick break. Chef suggests a sip of white wine.
10. At the midway point of boiling the lentils, the garlic should be lightly golden and aromatic. Give it a quick stir, then pour the garlic and the infused oil into the simmering lentils. Continue simmering.
11. If you opt for bread, slice the bread and begin toasting.
12. While you’re waiting for the bread to toast, chop the other garlic as finely as possible and thinly slice the chilli. Saute in olive oil until fragrant.
13. When the garlic and chilli are fragrant, stir in the kale to saute. Then cover the pan or pot and place on very low heat to gently cook the kale further.
14. When the lentils are tender (about 20 minutes), place half of the lentils and their boiling liquid into a blender, and blend until smooth. Then pour the blended lentils back into the pot of soup and stir to combine.
15. Remove from the heat and stir quickly. Then stir the kale into the soup.
16. Serve immediately with toast.
Not in the mood to cook? View Tablescape's takeaway and delivery menu here.