There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of hearty soup when it’s cold and rainy outside. “Chou kale” was proposed as part of our weekly “grand panier” from Le Potager d’Anne and so I decided that these gorgeous, firm, nutrient packed cabbage leaves were going to be the star of the show. To make this soup, first wash your cabbage leaves well, and then steam until tender, about 20 minutes.
While the cabbage leaves are steaming, fill another large casserole with water and pour in with 3/4 cup uncooked rinsed Beluga Lentils. Cook them about 20 minutes before adding
4 diced medium potatoes and an extra-large can of whole peeled tomatoes. Obviously you can substitute fresh tomatoes if you have too many in your veggie drawer that are on their way to going bad and need to be used up. But canned tomatoes are a little more economical!
While all that is simmering, in a small saucepan fry up 1/2 cup of “lardons.” There is no need to add any oil or grease, as the lardons make plenty of their own.
until nice and cooked, like so:
By now the steamed kale should be about 3/4 of the way cooked. This is a good time to use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the leaves into small pieces and then add them to the soup:
Add in the lardons, and let simmer another 30 minutes with a sprig of dried thyme on top. The soup smells lovely and rich, full of hearty nutritious goodness. One casserole will serve at least 6 people, and will leave a little leftover. When I was cooking this, we had some workers in the house pouring cement for a new base of an old rickety staircase we are replacing. I heard many “ça sent bon’s” so I was reassured that this soup was going to be good!
All that was left to do was “faire chabrot” (add in a drop of red wine) and enjoy. Indeed, it was “bon!” Hope you love yours as much as we did ours!
Winter Kale-Lentil-Tomato Soup
7-8 Kale leaves (or use as many as will fit in your steamer)
1 extra-large can of peeled tomatoes
3/4 cup uncooked Beluga Lentils
4 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 cup lardons
Wash and then steam your kale leaves for about 20 minutes. In another saucepan, fill it halfway with water and cook the lentils for about 20 minutes. In a small saucepan, fry up the lardons until cooked. No need to add any extra grease as they have plenty of their own. Add in the can of tomatoes with the juice and the diced potatoes to the lentils in the water. Return to the steaming kale and cut it in small pieces with a pair of kitchen scissors. Add it to the lentils, tomatoes and potatoes. Then add the cooked lardons. Add a piece of thyme over the top, cover and let simmer another 30 minutes. If desired, add a drop of red wine when serving and enjoy with a fresh crusty baguette!
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