I went a little bi-polar. Really. It all started when I went to a get a Healing Restorative Treatment that I read about in the recent Baltimore Style magazine. (←you can read about it) It was at the spa in the semi-new Four Seasons-Baltimore. Side Note: Mostly growing up in Baltimore, I have seen such a tremendous shift in the quality of what Baltimore city has to offer. It’s been amazing to see the changes thru the years.
I was feeling so relaxed, clean, and rejuvenated all at the same time. I went down to the coffee shop to get something healthy, opting for what I thought was a vegetarian lentil soup. It came out with lentils, beans, tasteless, flavorless and pieces of beef! Not at all what I had wanted, but I was beyond starving so I ate it anyway. I couldn’t wait for something else. The good news is that it led to this post! It was a good idea all around, but it needed some help. (I should’ve Instagramed it, but I’m still learning here). Initially I thought this would be so much better as a vegan only dish. I could see and taste how it should be…adding the kale and the cippolini onions. It all came to me in a flash. I went to buy the ingredients and passed by the meat counter at this quality store I like to visit and the next version popped in my head. This could be fantastic with spicy choirizo sausage. Both versions, to me, were equally as good. See, I went a little bi-polar on this post!
One, of course, is Vegan and for those who love a good spicy Chorizo sausage, a meat version! This soup is pretty quick to make, provided you follow the quick tips. If you opt to make a vegetarian stock you will have to add more time obviously, but I found that a box of vegetarian stock is just perfect!
Quick Tips: Buy a vegetarian stock you prefer. I like Pacific or Wegmans organic brand. Also, canned cannellini/ white beans and canned chopped/diced fire roasted tomatoes make it simple. Feel free to use a regular diced tomato as well.
One tip: One thing about lentils is that they can leave a bitter taste. I always pre-boil the lentils by letting them come to a boil for about 3-5 minutes. Then dump the lentils in a strainer, rinse, and start with fresh water. It’s at this point I start a recipe. While the lentils are simmering, get a pot of hot water and throw the cippolini onions and boil for about 3 minutes to get the skins off. I just followed the package directions and they came off really easy. After you have rinsed the lentils off, you can add the vegetable stock as your base, the cannelloni beans, fire roasted tomatoes, the herbs and salt. Sit back and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are just tender. If you’re making the chorizo soup, you would add your sausage after about to 10 minutes to let it marinate in the pot with all the other ingredients.
Right before serving, add your washed off kale and tear it into bits. This will take about 1-2 minutes tops. Make sure the kale is bright green and not overdone. Whatever way you choose to go, you can’t go wrong with this soup!
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups of green lentils
- 1 package ciopinnio onions ( about 4 oz.)
- 1 box of vegetarian stock- preferably Organic or Pacific brand
- 1 can of Muir Fire Roasted chopped tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 bunch of kale, torn into chunks
- Fill a deep stock pot with the water and add lentils. Bring to a boil and simmer the lentils for about 3-5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, take a small pot and fill with water. Let water come to a boil and add in the ciopinnio onions. Boil the onions for 3 minutes and remove. Once cooled, peel off skins and set aside.
- Once the lentils have simmered, dump out the lentils into a strainer and rinse with water. Rinse out the pot as well.
- Fill the same pot with the entire contents of the veggie stock.
- Add the rinsed off lentils, the peeled onions, tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, salt, and pinch of pepper.
- **About 10 minutes after these ingredients have come together, this is where you can add the chorizo sausage. 1 link for a bit of meat, 2 links for big meat eaters! The Chorizo should cook total for about 20 minutes till they are cooked thru. Remove just before serving to cut into chunks.
- Simmer on a medium-low heat for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are just tender. Add water as needed to make sure there is enough broth.
- About 2 minutes before serving, add torn kale and add to the pot. Let cook just until bright green and a little crunchy.
- Serve with a great whole wheat bread.