Lentil Soup with Crispy Kale and Egg
For the soup:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion or shallots
2 cups chopped carrot
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup red lentils
3 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
(optional 8 oz paneer (an Indian cheese that does not melt) cut into cubes)
For the crispy kale topping:
4 cups kale, rinsed and torn or chopped into pieces smaller than 1 inch
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro or both
Thin drizzle of olive oil
Saute the onion/shallots and the carrots in the oil for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the curry powder and saute 2 more minutes. Add the lentils, stir briskly, then add the water, stirring to break up any chunks of lentil sticking together. Turn heat to medium low and simmer 15 minutes. After the first 15 minutes of cooking, add the paneer if you’re using it, add more water if the soup seems thing, and turn heat to low. Simmer an additional 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cover a baking sheet with parchment papers to keep the eggs from sticking, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the chopped kale and herbs evenly across the sheet, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt. 15 minutes prior to the lentils being done, crack the eggs onto the kale, and place in the oven. Baking the eggs should take 12-17 minutes depending on your oven and how well cooked you like your eggs. Jiggle the pan lightly to see how much of the egg is moving, and continue baking until the eggs are mostly set (personal preference if you like yours runny, but make sure the whites are baked all the way through).
Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with an egg and crispy greens.
To make this vegan, omit the paneer and the egg — the crispy greens make a great topping.
Sprinkle on a little cayenne pepper for some spice. Other variations include finely dicing a jalepeno pepper and sprinkling it on the greens before baking, or adding some cooked chickpeas to the lentil soup instead of paneer.
We thank friend of the farm Angela for this recipe!