(Build your immune system and warm your belly at the same time)
Very Green Lentil Soup
Originally from "Eating Well Magazine" October 2011
By Anna Thomas (famous vegetarian chef and author) "Love Soups"

Modified  with some extra greens and spices by Cheryl

Everyone in my family loved this soup!  Even my 17 year old son who is not too crazy about some of the green concoctions I come up with.  This is packed full of nutrition to build your immune system for the winter ahead.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 large leek
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt 
  • 1 cup French green (Le Puy) or brown lentils
  • 4 cups of water for cooking the lentils 
  • 8 large green chard leaves (stem removed for later)  
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley 
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potato, scrubbed
  • 8 cups gently packed spinach (about 10 ounces), any tough stems trimmed
  • 1 bunch of lacinato (palm) Kale (the darkest, bluest kale)  remove stems 
  • 5 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade (I use Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth)  use more if you need more liquid 
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower  
  • 1 tsp cumin ground 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes  
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • the Juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon (not bottled)!
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice 
  • Crumbled feta cheese for garnish
          You may be tempted to omit all the peppers but DON'T!   Preparation
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and leek, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 35 minutes.   
  2. Meanwhile, rinse lentils and pick out any small stones; combine the lentils with the remaining 4 cups water in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Trim the white ribs out of the chard and kale; discard the ribs from the kale.  Chop the greens and slice the chard ribs (keep in separate piles). Cut potatoes into 1/2 -inch dice. Chop spinach; set aside.
  3. When the lentils have cooked for 20 minutes, stir in the chard ribs, potato, scallions, broth and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt; return to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chard leaves, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cumin and coriander. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the soup. Return to a simmer, cover and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in the reserved spinach, cilantro, mint, jalapeño and pepper; return to a simmer, cover and cook until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes more. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice and/or pepper, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil and crumbled feta cheese.