THE FOOD EDIT: COMFORT FOOD

THE FOOD EDIT: COMFORT FOOD

As the temperature finally drops a few degrees, the leaves turn into a thousand autumnal shades of orange and red, and the furry socks come out of hiding, it is time for simple comfort food to return to our tables.

I especially love recipes that are simple to prepare, highly nutritious and absolutely delicious all at the same time...and this kale and lentil soup fits that description. Perfect to enjoy as a weeknight dinner and then to portion the leftovers to enjoy over a few days, this soup is always welcome on my table.


Special mention must be made of those beautiful kale chips which almost steal the show - they are simply delightful. Although lovely as a garnish, feel free to make them as a side dish to any meal, or even as a snack or part of your weekly meal prep; they really are that good!


I hope you enjoy the recipe.



INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SOUP:


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to serve

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon curry powder

6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

4 ripe fresh roma tomatoes, diced into 1cm cubes, or 400g tin Italian tomatoes

1 cup whole green lentils, rinsed

4 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup firmly packed kale leaves, tough ribs removed and chopped

Juice of 1 lemon


FOR THE ROAST KALE CHIPS:


Rest of the bunch of kale, tough ribs removed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper



METHOD

ONE | Preheat the oven to 180C. TWO | Heat the ¼ cup olive oil in a large pot and add the onion and carrots. Saute for five minutes over a medium-high heat until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent. THREE | Add the garlic, cumin and curry powder and stir for a minute until the spices become lovely and fragrant. Add the thyme leaves and tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often to ensure the tomatoes do not catch on the bottom of the pot. FOUR | Pour in the lentils, stock, water, salt and a good 6-7 twists of the pepper grinder. Bring the soup to a boil, partially cover, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. FIVE | After that time, add the chopped kale leaves and cook for 5 minutes or until they have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat, add the lemon juice and stir. Taste and add extra salt, pepper or lemon juice if necessary. SIX |In the meantime, make the kale chips. Break the extra kale leaves into largeish pieces and place on a large oven tray. Add the 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper and then gently massage the leaves to ensure the oil and seasonings coat all the leaves. Pop in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, gently turning the leaves over at the 10 minute mark. SEVEN | To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and garnish with the kale chips. Serve immediately.







WORDS, STYLING+ PHOTOGRAPHY:

By TLSE Food Contributor, Helen Vlahakis of Mumma's Country Kitchen

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