Spicy Lentil and Kale Soup

Rarely do you find meat-free meals here at Flying on Jess Fuel, but today is an exception! A very, very delicious exception. And so hearty and filling that I promise you won’t even miss the meat.

So how did I sneak a meat-free meal past that meatatarian hubby of mine, you ask? Well, I didn’t. Nick was gone for a little over two weeks doing some training out in California so I had my whole house, kitchen and bed (!!) to myself!

I didn’t mention anything on here, yanno, just in case anyone decided they wanted to break through base security, make their way past a vicious ninety pound German Shepard and an absurd number of firearms, and burgle me. Hey, it could happen.

Now that I have my buff, gun-loving hubby back I can sleep soundly. Ha. If only that were true. Oh how I already miss having the whole bed to myself!

Cooking for only myself doesn’t seem worth it… so I found myself eating lots of grilled cheeses, hot pockets and pounds of Halloween candy. Not the healthiest. So finally I decided I ought to make a real meal, and took Nick’s absence as an opportunity to make something just for me! Technically this meal isn’t meat-free. It has bacon in it. But it’s just for flavor and not the main star of the dish. Delicious lentils and veggies steal the show!

Spicy Lentil and Kale Soup

(adapted from Rachael Ray)

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 canned anchovy fillets
  • 3 strips bacon, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • Salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils
  • 2 (32 oz) containers chicken broth
  •  1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • Crusty bread or rolls, for serving

In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the anchovies until melted, then add the bacon and cook until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add carrots, onion and garlic. Season with the rosemary, bay leaf, paprika, crushed red pepper, allspice, and salt & pepper, and cook until the vegetables are softened, 7 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the lentils, chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir in the kale and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.


Serve with crusty bread.

The soup was awesome! Perfect for our recent chilly weather, and lots of healthy stuff to counteract all my Halloween candy. And guess what? Nick had some leftovers when he finally got home… and loved it too!

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