Lentil Soup with Kale

As they say, “It sure is a lovely Winter we’re having this Spring.”

I’m a sucker for snowstorms.  Maybe I’m alone in this, but I love waking up in the middle of the night to hear a Winter Storm Warning crackling over the weather radio. Especially when I don’t have to drive anywhere, and I can just stay home and enjoy the snow.


We’re in an active weather pattern — finally — after a couple years of horrible drought and wildfires. So I’m celebrating each snowflake that much more. We got about 15″ yesterday, much of it melting right into the ground (and undoubtedly making the rows of seeds I planted last week almost as happy as it made me.)


But after venturing out to the coop to collect eggs, I was chilled to the bone. So I warmed myself up the best way I know how:



To me, this lentil soup is comfort in a pot. I based it (loosely) on a recipe in the yellow book that called for italian sausage and escarole — and it’ll probably be delicious with whatever you have on hand, too.


Like any good comfort food, it’s simple to make, and only gets better as it simmers. So pour a glass of wine and watch the snow fall as the aromas of bacon, onions, and bay leaves fill your kitchen.


This soup is the perfect pairing for a snowstorm, or a busy weeknight, along with a loaf of crusty bread. It also freezes well, and makes great leftovers. I should know; I ate it for breakfast this morning.


Lentil Soup with Kale

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: About 6 cups

Lentil Soup with Kale


  • 1/2 pound smoked bacon
  • 1 2/3 cup brown lentils
  • 4 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 14 oz peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cup chopped kale, packed (discard stems and ribs if using larger leaves)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Combine lentils, half of the chopped garlic, bay leaf, chicken stock, and water in a saucepan and bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. Peel carrots and cut into a 1/2 dice.
  3. Finely chop the celery and onion.
  4. Slice bacon into thin matchsticks.
  5. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add chopped bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and remove with a slotted spoon, set aside on a paper towel to drain.
  6. You should have about 2 tablespoons worth of bacon fat in the bottom of your pot, otherwise you can add a little butter or olive oil.
  7. Add carrots, celery and onion to the pot and cook until onions are translucent but not browned.
  8. Pour lentils and all of their cooking liquid into the pot, and continue cooking until lentils are cooked al dente.
  9. Add bacon, tomatoes, and apple cider vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste (don't add salt or acid before the lentils are fully cooked, or they won't absorb water.)
  10. Add kale to the pot and cook a few minutes longer, until kale is cooked through.
  11. Simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes if you're not in a hurry; otherwise taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

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