This is what winter is all about. Warming soups! And here it is, a rustic lentil and greens soup simmered in a rich flavorful broth. This simple lentil soup recipe is made with humble pantry ingredients but also includes hearty winter greens, fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon to give it a bright, fresh flavor. It’s seasoned modestly with thyme and a splash of soy sauce just to give it a tiny bit of umami goodness. Oh, and I guess I shouldn’t forget about the dried porcini mushrooms, which happen to be a pantry staple in my kitchen, also because of their umami magic.
Lentil and Greens Soup – a warming and healthy one-pot meal
Lentils are powerhouses of fiber and protein and boast a pretty impressive amount of folate, iron, phosphorus and potassium too. Plus compared to dried beans, they are super quick to put ot use. Meaning, they don’t need any soaking but still cook within 30 minutes. Which is nothing in the legume and bean world. Plus they are highly versatile and delicious! Served together with hearty and gorgeous winter greens (the kingpins of vitamin k) you have a light, nutritious and satisfying soup that’s bound to help stave off a winter cold. Serve with a rustic loaf of whole grain bread for the perfect winter meal.
You’re sure to feel cosy and warm inside after a bowl of this lentil and greens soup! You can use whatever your favourite dark leafy greens are, or whatever is in currently season. Makes 4 portions, served with bread, or two if you are really hungry and skipping the carbs! Feel free to add some potatoes for a heartier soup.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 15 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 3/4 cup boiling water (185 ml)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (60 ml)
- small splash soy sauce (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 3 cups vegetable broth (750 ml)
- 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed (250 g) (I like German Berg-Linsen or Bernsteinlinsen)
- 4 generous handfuls kale, spinach or Swiss chard, hard stems removed and chopped (approx. 100 g)
- 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
- juice from 1/2 a lemon, plus more for serving
- fresh bread, for serving
Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl, cover with 185 ml hot water and soak for 15 minutes. When mushrooms are soft, remove from water, squeeze out any excess water into the bowl, and set aside for later. Finely chop the rehydrated mushrooms. If gritty, the reserved soaking liquid may need straining.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, and saute for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Season with salt, then add the carrot, garlic and thyme to the pot and stir. Once the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the chopped porcini mushrooms, white wine and soya sauce. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
Now add the broth. Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a rolling boil; add the lentils. Cook for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes or until the lentils are al dente.
Add greens and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the chopped mint, parsley and juice from 1/2 a medium lemon. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for a 1-2 minutes. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, as desired.
Serve into bowls and enjoy with a slice of ciabatta or your favorite rustic bread.
I like a combination of spinach and Swiss chard leaves. Feel free to add a potato or two (diced) for a more hearty soup.
Both French green puy lentils and common brown lentils are delicious in this soup.
If you make this Lentil and Greens Soup recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Be sure to rate it and leave a comment below to let me know! Especially if you have tips for other readers. Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @ellerepublic and don’t foget to hashtag #ellerepublic so I don’t miss it!