After all the decadent eating from last week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, I’ve been craving simple, veggie-centric foods. So I set about today to make a soup with some of my favourite healthy ingredients: lentils, kale, yams, spinach, and Chinese sausages. Ok, that last ingredient is not healthy like the others, but it is the very lean kind, and they’re one of my favourite comfort foods from my childhood. Inspired by the Chinese sausage, I also used miso paste and garnished with sliced green onion to give the soup a hint of Asian influence. The result was a unique combination of savoury and sweet flavours that was satisfying and comforting.
Lentil, Yam, and Kale Soup
- 1 C red lentils
- 2 Chinese sausages (I used the extra lean kind made with pork and chicken)
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic (I used 2 large cloves), minced
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 C low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 C water
- 1 TB mild miso paste
- 1/2 large yam, cubed (about 2 C)
- 1/2 large can of crushed tomatoes (398 ml or 14 fl oz)
- 1 medium bunch kale, washed, stems removed, and roughly chopped (about 5 packed C)
- fresh baby spinach (a handful for each bowl)
- garnish: 3 thinly sliced green onions
(I started this soup a bit on the late side and was rushing to finish before leaving for work. So I didn’t manage to take any photos of the process, only of the end product. Sorry!)
Rinse lentils and soak in water while you prep the other ingredients.
Thinly slice the sausages.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Lightly brown the sausages for a few minutes. Stir them around continuously because they burn easily! Remove from pot and set aside (they will finish cooking later in the soup).
Dump into the pot the usual soup suspects: diced carrot, celery, and onion. Stir around for a minute, then add the minced garlic. Keep stirring and cook for about 5 minutes, until they soften and start to develop a bit of colour. Then season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir around for 30 sec or so.
Drain lentils and add to pot. And the cubed yams too. Pour in broth and water. Crank heat up to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Then add the miso paste. Give it a good stir to let the miso melt into the soup and make sure nothing’s sticking to the bottom. Turn down heat to med-low, cover, and let simmer for 10 mins.
After 10 mins, add the crushed tomatoes and sausage. Stir, cover, and simmer for another 10 mins. Then add kale. Cover and let the kale wilt down for about 5 – 6 minutes. Taste test, adjust salt/pepper if needed.
To serve, place a handful of spinach leaves in the bottom of a bowl.
Ladle in soup on top and garnish with sliced green onion.
The sausage gave an enticing salty flavour to the soup. There was a lovely contrasting sweetness from the yams. The lentils made the soup thick and hearty. And the kale and spinach were delicious from soaking up all the flavours in the soup. It was lovely and comforting! We had it with a side of my favourite bread, fresh calabrese. Yum! 🙂