Curried Red Lentil and Kale Soup

This recipe is from Living Without‘s October/November issue. In this fall issue they have a great section on gluten-free and dairy-free creamy soups.

This was the first I’ve made — mostly because we had kale in the garden that was begging to be picked. The coriander and carrots were also from the garden. I really love using produce I’ve picked from the garden and cooking with it. You can come up with some great combinations.

The red lentils in this recipe are pretty easy to buy. They’re available at health grocery stores, like Whole Foods, or larger chains that have recently increased their health-food sections, like Fred Meyer (which is where I bought the lentils for this soup). Look for them in the bulk food aisle next to the regular lentils (sort of green-looking). The red ones are flat little disks of a pale red-orange color. Lentils are a great healthy legume and are good for soups (and so is kale, so this soup unites a perfect pair).


(serves about 6 – for more, double the recipe or add 2 cups more water/broth and kale)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 large carrots, diced

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon curry powder or Thai red curry sauce

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

1 to 2 cups kale, finely chopped

1 quart water

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 cup coconut cream, for garnish

2 teaspoons lemon juice, for garnish

1/4 cup diced green onions, for garnish, optional


1. In a large pot, place the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrot and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for 5 minutes until tender.

2. Add the tomato paste and curry powder and cook for 30 seconds while stirring. Add the red lentils, kale, water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, coriander and cumin.

3. Bring the liquid to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium low, cover pot and cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

4. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut cream and lemon juice. Do this just before serving so that the cream and lemon juice don’t separate.

5. Serve the soup chunky or puree it in a blender for a smooth and creamy texture. Top with the coconut cream mixture and diced onions, if desired.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Main dish, Season: Fall, Season: Summer, Soup


Became a voracious, unapologetic bookworm in 4th grade after reading the first three Harry Potter books. Have a thing for dystopias, young adult novels, classic literature and funny memoirs (re: Mindy Kaling / Tina Fey). English and journalism geek, media and pop culture critic, food writer and blogger, editor of an entertainment magazine. Hobbies include: my Netflix account, cooking, gardening, music, art and hiking.


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One Comment on “Curried Red Lentil and Kale Soup”

  1. 11/22/2011 at 10:47 pm #

    what a delicious soup recipe. we sauteed leeks, kale and watercress for the greens and ended up pureeing everything but half the lentils in the hopes that the kids would eat it for dinner (the site or crunch of onions stops them cold). i would love to try the texture as you originally wrote so we will have to make it again soon. it also worked great as baby food. she loved it! such wonderful flavors. thanks!

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