Remember in this post when I said by late February or early March my B.C.-born body and brain are ready for Spring? Sure you do.
Well, let me paint you a little picture, in case you’re not currently in the Prairie provinces (in which case, bravo). Imagine yourself looking out your living room window and seeing gorgeous sunshine. Brilliant! About time. So, you grab a coat and step outside. Then, 30 seconds later, after your nostrils and eyeballs have frozen, you step back inside and, after checking all your extremities for frostbite, decide it might be an inside day after all.
I’m actually pretty proud of myself today because, upon checking the temperature and seeing it was minus 22 (minus 33 with the windchill) out, I decided to make some soup instead of stomping my feet and screaming “IT’S MARCH FOR GOD’S SAKE!”
Even though that’s exactly what I wanted to do. Because, seriously. It’s March.
For those of you living in the land of Farenheit, minus 22C is minus 7.6F, according to my iPhone app. Which sounds a lot better, so I’m thinking of switching.
Anyway. This soup has a touch of heat to warm up your chilly fingers and toes. It’s also vegetarian, maybe even vegan if you really want it to be. Plus, it’s orange, and who doesn’t like orange food? No one, that’s who.
I am a reluctant kale chip convert. This was my first attempt and I honestly was not expecting to think much of them. But give them a try. I was surprised at their definite chip-y nature. Do they taste like kale? Well, to quote my 14-year-old self: duh. But you might like them.
This soup is adapted from a recipe in the brilliant book, Spilling the Beans by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan. I’m a big lover of beans, especially chickpeas, and this book has some of my favourite recipes.
Hopefully you enjoy this soup as much as I do. And if you’re like me and have to fight back tears every time you look at the five-day forecast, hopefully it will help you through this latest (but probably not last) cold snap.
Curried Sweet Potato Red Lentil Soup with Crispy Kale Chips
- 1 tbsp canola or olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
- 3/4 cup dry red lentils
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp curry paste
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or regular milk, or half-and-half)
- 1 bunch kale, rinsed and dried
- 1 tbsp canola or olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic and ginger until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, sweet potato, carrot, curry paste, stock, wine and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.
Meanwhile, cut the kale leaves from the stalks and tear them into bite-size pieces. Toss them with olive oil and spread out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and bake about 10 minutes, until the edges start to brown. I did mine for 10 minutes, took out the leaves that were brown and crispy, and put the ones that were still soft back in the oven for 2 or 3 more minutes.
Once the vegetables in your soup are tender, add the almond milk and remove it from the heat. Purée using an immersion blender or transfer in batches to a blender or food processor. Serve with a few cracks of fresh black pepper and a couple of crispy kale chips on top.