Hearty Lentil Soup with Crispy Kale Topping January 18, 2013 by Shiva Rose This is an easy to make stand by at Casa de Rosa for a quick nutritious meal. It tastes even better the next day so we end up having two meals with one preparation. I was a serious vegetarian for 25 years, and even though I have taken up occasional meat eating and beer drinking (I know, not very PC) I still am a vegetarian at heart. Lentils are packed with protein (18 grams to be exact) and lots of the vitamin B's. The crunchy kale as a topping is ususally a big hit with the sprites, and I've heard the olive oil activates the vitamins in the kale when heated. Ingredients: 2 cups Brown or green lentils 1 chopped onion 2 minced garlic cloves 1 chopped leek 3 celery stalks chopped 3 carrots chopped 3 tbs tomato paste (I use Bionaturae Organic Tomato Paste that comes in a glass jar not a can since BPA in cans is worse with tomato goods due to the acid) 4 cups of water (or use chicken broth) 1 cube vegetable bouillon 1 tsp chopped thyme 1 tsp cumin olive oil sea salt pepper Bunch of kale washed and stems removed chopped 2 Tbs Olive Oil Sea Salt Pumpkin seeds Preheat oven to 450 degrees In a large bowl cover lentils with boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain. In a soup pot saute onion, garlic, salty, pepper, thyme, cumin in the oil until lightly golden in color. Add the carrots, leek, celery and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the water, tomato paste, bouillon, and lentils. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Place the chopped kale in a bowl and coat with olive oil and salt. Place on a cookie sheet, sprinkle seeds on top and place in the oven. Check on the kale to make sure they don't burn. Once they are crispy yet still green in color remove from oven. Place the kale on top of the soup for a delicious and nutritious meal!