· 1 cupuncooked flakes
· ¼cup extra virgin olive oil
· 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
· 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (+2 small celery optional)
· 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
· 2teaspoons ground cumin
· 1teaspoon curry powder
· ½ teaspoon dried thyme
· 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, lightly drained
· 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
· 4 cups vegetable broth
· 2 cups water
· 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
· Pinch of red pepper flakes
· Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
· 1cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
· 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (½ to 1 medium lemon), to taste
- Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. (Cooking hack: If you creatively use a crockpot you will only have to clean 1 pot!)
- Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and (optional celery) cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
- Pour in the flakes, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes (or longer if in a crockpot)
- Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Securely fasten the lid, protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid, and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. (Or, use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup.)
- Add the chopped greens and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. For spicier soup, add another pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
- Serve while hot. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).