Lentil and Roasted Garlic Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale

The garlic in this recipe takes a little advance planning, but you can make it a day or two ahead while your doing something else in the kitchen and after that, the recipe is a piece of cake. I have also made this with white potatoes or winter squash in place of the sweet potatoes, and every time it is outstanding!

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup French Green Lentils
  • 2 medium leek (white parts and green parts only) thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 7 cups (you may need 1 more) vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup red lentils
  • 1 1/4 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 12 ounces kale, ribs discarded, leaves sliced
  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Place the olive oil, garlic and rosemary in a heavy saucepan and cook over lowest possible heat until the garlic begins to brown (about 1.5 hours). Drain and reserve garlic and oil and separately, cover and chill, discard rosemary. (You can do this up to 2 days ahead of time.)

Place 3 cups water and green lentils in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes, cool and drain. Meanwhile heat 1/4 cup garlic oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add leek and sage and cook until leek is soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add 7 cups broth, soy sauce, green and red lentil to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium, cover and simmer until lentils are almost soft – about 15 minutes. Add potatoes and garlic and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. (If you need to add more broth to keep veggies covered, do so by the 1/2 cup-full) Add kale to soup and simmer until wilted, about 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper (won’t need much). Serve with Parmesan cheese, sprinkled on top, and warm bread on the side.

Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine, March 2006

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