Hello, Monday! Boy, did you sneak up on me quickly!
In our home, Sunday afternoon always feels like a race to get organized for the week ahead. Not a bad, pressured kind of race, rather, a “let’s do this, go-team-go” kind of race. The kind of race that energizes the body to accomplish anything that may come next (well, just about anything). During this time, you’ll typically find us putting cleaning laundry away in drawers and closets, prepping food in the kitchen, and checking Piper’s school papers and syncing calendars.
As much as I try to be well-prepared and organized for the week-ahead, little unexpected events seem to happen from time to time, because…hello Monday, you are full of surprises! Like the smoothie spilling all over the front seat of my car (good-bye breakfast), missing my alarm clock (okay, more like ignoring my alarm clock), and the internet going on hiatus for two full days (thank goodness for a personal hot spot via T-Mobile).
My dear family, let’s take the advice of the wise fish named Dora, “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. Just keep swimming.” We will power through this Monday, and today’s soup is just the food to help us do that!
Onward, to soup…
30-Minute Vegetarian Lentil Soup with Wilted Greens is the perfect recipe to talk about on a Monday, because it’s an ideal prep day recipe. I make this soup at least once every couple of weeks, either for a quick dinner or to stock the fridge or freezer with a grab-n-go meal option. It’s super easy to toss together, uses simple ingredients that can already be found in my fridge, and can be made in about 30 minutes (not counting chopping time).
This soup is also a meatless dish, making it a hearty recipe to add to a meatless Monday routine. You all know that I’m all for pastured meat (hello, juicy burger!), but sometimes it’s nice to have a break from heavier meat dinners and enjoy a plant-based meal that doesn’t compromise on flavor.
So let’s start Monday off on the right foot, with a big bowl of hearty lentils, veggies, and wilted greens. Now, that’s what I call Monday fuel! Just keep souping, souping, souping. Just keep souping ;).
30-Minute Vegetarian Lentil Soup with Wilted Greens
- 2 TB butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced sweet potato or skin-on or peeled
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 7 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 cups brown lentils If you use French green lentils you'll probably need to increase the simmering time by 15-20 minutes.
- 8 cups vegetable broth Chicken broth or water will also work in this recipe.
- 2-3 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups packed chopped kale leaves Remove the stems before chopping. Baby spinach also works in this recipe.
- 1 lemon juiced
- In a Dutch oven or soup pot, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the carrots, celery, onion, and sweet potato to the pot. Saute until the onions are translucent and the vegetables begin to sweat, about 5 minutes. Stir in the the minced garlic cloves and saute for 1 more minute. Finally, add the whole thyme sprigs and lentils.
- Pour the broth over the ingredients, and cover the pot with a lid. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to a lively simmer. Simmer the soup for about 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils and vegetables are soft. Remove the soup from the heat, and add the salt and pepper to taste. I do NOT add salt to my homemade broth, so I usually add about 3 teaspoons of salt to this soup. I recommend adding 1 teaspoon of salt at a time, until you reach the desired flavor. Remove the thyme stems.
- Add the chopped kale. After about 2 minutes, the kale should wilt in the hot soup. Squeeze in the lemon juice, and stir.
Make-Ahead Tip: I currently have three mason jars full of this hearty soup sitting in my fridge for the week-ahead, so what I’m trying to say is that this soup is a great prep day recipe. Make this soup on the weekend, and store it in the fridge or freezer for a grab-n-go style meal all week long.