This is a great nourishing combination of ingredients that makes a soup that is deeply satisfying to eat. I serve this soup with a very thick consistency in the Italian style.

Ingredients

This is a great nourishing combination of ingredients that makes a soup that is deeply satisfying to eat. I serve this soup with a very thick consistency in the Italian style.

If you prefer the soup thinner, just add more stock to the lentils when cooking. A drizzle of the very best olive oil is the perfect finishing touch and that last minute addition seems to elevate this really rustic soup to a much more sophisticated plateau. 

Serves 6 -8 

  • 250g green lentils 
  • 1 red chilli 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 3 cloves of unpeeled garlic 
  • Branch of thyme 
  • 1 onion halved 
  • 1 – 1.2 litre chicken stock 
  • 500g curly kale, weighed after the tough stalks have been removed 
  • 150ml cream 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper 

Method

  1. Place the lentils, chilli, bay leaf, garlic, thyme, onion and chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook very gently until the lentils are tender.
  2. Do not allow the lentils to become overcooked and mushy but at the same time they do need to be completely cooked all the way through. I add a good pinch of salt to the cooking lentils 5 minutes before they are cooked.
  3. Remove the bay leaf, thyme and onion and discard. Peel the skin off the chilli and discard the skin. Split it in half lengthways and remove and discard the seeds.
  4. Chop the chilli flesh finely and add back into the lentils. Press the flesh out of the cooked garlic and discard the skins. Stir the soft garlic into the lentils. Taste and correct seasoning.
  5. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and season well with salt. Add the kale leaves and cook uncovered until completely tender. Strain off all of the water and place the leaves in a food processor. Puree briefly, add the cream and continue to puree to a smooth consistency.
  6. Taste and correct seasoning making sure to add some freshly ground black pepper. Both elements of the soup can be put aside now for reheating later. 
  7. When ready to serve the soup, Heat the lentils and kale in separate saucepans. When both mixtures are simmering, add the kale to the lentil saucepan and gently fold through.
  8. The soup can look streaky at this stage and that is the way I prefer to serve it. Ladle into hot soup bowls and drizzle each serving with olive oil. Serve immediately 
  9. I added good pinch of salt to lentils near the end of cooking 
  10. Remove garlic and peel and sieve into lentils. Peel and deseed chilli and chop finely and add to the lentils also. Correct seasoning. 
  11. Remove onion and bay leaf. 
  12. Seperately, cook 500g kale 8(weighed after stalks removed) in lots of boiling salted water until completely tender. Strain and puree with 150ml cream. 
  13. Combine with lentils