Friday, January 21, 2011

Lentil Soup with Tomatoes, Kale and Saffron Yogurt

Lentil Soup with Tomatoes and Kale

After hearing Diana rave about this soup for months, I finally decided that I needed to make In a cruel and unusual twist of fate, I got sick again last weekend and so I decided to make this soup for the second time to help cure me. The first time I made it, I didn't realize until I was halfway through that I was out of fire-roasted tomatoes. I decided to be crafty and use a little of the Ghanian fresh pepper I had made a few days prior. It turned out well, but it didn't quite go well with the saffron yogurt. I knew I had to try the soup again staying a bit closer to the original recipe. For being such a simple recipe, it's surprisingly full of flavor. The fire-roasted tomatoes I used also had a few jalapenos mixed in so this had a nice, gentle heat and the yogurt cooled it down. This soup is quite filling and also strangely addictive. Although, it's hard to say that being addicted to lentils, tomatoes, and kale is a bad thing. The soup is just as good with the saffron yogurt as without and I love Heidi's suggestions for changing it up by adding a poached egg, or crispy shallots, or a whole grain to the dish. The spices can also be played with as another way to change things up. Since it cooks in practically no time, this soup will definitely be on regular rotation in my winter meals.

Lentil Soup with Tomatoes, Kale, and Saffron Yogurt (aka Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup)
(Ever so slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

Makes about 4 servings

For the saffron yogurt:
Small pinch saffron threads
1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water
Pinch coarse sea salt
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
For the soup:
1 cup green lentils
7 cups water, divided
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cups rinsed and chopped kale
1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
Coarse sea salt to taste

To make the yogurt:
Add the saffron threads to the boiling water in a small cup or bowl. Let the saffron steep for about 2 minutes. Stir in the salt and yogurt. Set aside while making the soup.

To make the soup:
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and add and big pinch of salt. Add the lentils and cook until tender, but still firm, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion sprinkle with a bit of salt. You want the onions to soften, but not brown. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the onions have softened. Add the lentils and kale to the pot. Add the water and stir to combine. Cover the pot and cook until the kale has wilted, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes. Taste and add salt as necessary.

Serve the soup warm with a dollop of the saffron yogurt.

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Erica said...

I love Heidi's recipes! And this one looks incredible. The saffron yogurt is a unique touch. I might sub it out and just use some plain greek. Hope you're feeling better

Amanda said...

What delightful and original ingredients... well done!

Shannon said...

ooh, this sounds amazing. and i'm excited to try that saffron yogurt :)

Anna A. said...

Love the lentils too and remember how good this sounded after reading about diana's. Only thing is that I would UAE regular fat yogurt not the fat free kind. Lentils are already healthy enough! Lol

Joanne said...

I've become a big fan of lentils recently and Heidi's recipes never fail to please! beautifully presented!

Diana said...

Best soup recipe EVER!

Okay, maybe not ever, but I like to dwell in the land of hyperbole. The land of saffron yogurt too.

vanillasugar said...

saffron yogurt? well, my. that does pair very well with the soup. i have to look at some of those recipes.....

Kerstin said...

Love all those ingredients, sounds so comforting and delicious, especially with that saffron yogurt!