2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed and sorted
2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder, more or less to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 to 8 ounces Swiss chard or spinach
juice of 1 lemon or lime
salt to taste
Both nourishing and sublimely satisfying, this thick soup incorporates fall's first sweet potatoes with seasonal greens. Red lentils, which cook to a warm golden color, are available in natural food stores and ethnic groceries. Serve with Chapatis or a store-bought flatbread.
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the water, followed by the lentils, sweet potatoes, and seasonings. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the lentils are mushy and the potatoes are done, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the greens, remove stems and midribs, then slice into narrow shreds. Stir into the soup along with the lemon juice. If the soup is too thick, adjust the consistency with a small amount of water.
Continue to simmer gently until the greens are just done, about 5 minutes for spinach and 10 to 15 minutes for chard. Season with salt. Serve at once, or if time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for an hour or two. Heat through before serving.
Per serving: Calories: 290 Total fat: 5 g Protein: 13 g Fiber: 10 g Carbohydrate: 50 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 94 mg