Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kale, Lentil & Chicken Soup

This recipe has a few firsts in it for me: first time buying and using kale, same applies to lentils, and it was the first time I would discover a no-salt-added chicken broth (PC Blue Menu brand, found at Real Canadian Superstore).

A suggestion about kale, if I might: I bought mine on Thursday after work, kept it in the fridge as I thought it might need, but by the time I went to use it on Saturday morning, about half of it was already limp. I used it anyway because when it gets cooked into soup, no one is any the wiser about how it looked before it entered the pot, especially if you don't tell them.... You might want to wait until the day you plan to use it before buying kale. Also, the bunch that I bought (only way it was sold) is more than what's required for the recipe, so either use it all in the soup or have an alternate plan for the leftovers. I'm still working on the latter...

The making of this recipe was fairly uneventful, even after having been out of cooking practice for a while recently. The only mishap was when I added the red lentils to the pot, but failed to notice that the bag was not entirely over the pot. Now I have lentils in the pot, on the stove, under the burner, on the counter, and under my bare feet on the floor. I managed to salvage most of what was on the stove and counter, but accidently added a lot more to the floor in the process. Grrrr!

I ended up with more than 1 cup of onion because I just chopped up one onion. I also had 9.35 oz of kale instead of the suggested 8 oz. I used baby carrots and just chopped them as I always do, and used 2 large cloves of garlic because garlic is good for me. I had fresh basil but it wasn't snipped; I just squeezed 1 tbsp worth out of the tube that I keep in the fridge. As usual, I didn't add any salt and just ground a bunch of black pepper into the pot. I gave up measuring black pepper ages ago after my friend laughed hysterically while watching me attempt to grind pepper into a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon. If you're really anal about it, I've seen ground pepper in the spice racks at the grocery store.

The simmer-and-wait intervals for this recipe provide the cook with time to do some dishes, tidy up, or if you're me, surf the internet on your laptop that you brought into the kitchen with you because the recipe is online. The end result (lentil disaster notwithstanding) is hot and tasty. The kale feels a little strange in the mouth at first because it has very ruffled edges, but the overall result has me heading to the pot for a second helping.

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