Spicy Red Lentil, Kale and Cashew Soup

Red Lentil Kale Soup

The perfect escape from polar vortex conditions! Easy and quick to make, with a delicate complexity.

Serves: 4 as appetizer
Time: 25 minutes

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red lentils
3 cups vegetable broth (I used Whole Foods’ broth)
1 leaf kale
1 wedge of lemon (about 1/8 of a juicy lemon)
1/4 cup whole cashews
Salt to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste


1. Heat the olive oil in a pot over low-medium heat. Once heated, add the onions and cook until translucent. If they begin to brown, lower the heat.

2. Once the onion is translucent, add the garlic and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

3. Add the red lentils and broth. Bring it to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

4. While the red lentils are cooking, cut the kale into strips and remove the thick stem. Place in a bowl and squeeze the lemon over the kale. Massage the lemon juice into the kale and then let it sit.

5. Grind the cashews in a food processor, you can leave chunks if you like texture. Set this aside for now.

6. When the lentils are cooked (should take 20-25 minutes, I like to stop cooking before they completely break down), add the kale in. You’ll probably need to press it down into the pot, but it will quickly begin to wilt and will release water, so no need to add more broth. Remove it from the heat.

7. Add the ground cashews and salt to taste, ladle into bowls and top with crushed red pepper.


Ginger Miso Soup

Time for a proper post-holiday cleanse.  This soup is packed full of so many nutritiously delicious items, I’ll have to choose only two to focus on–miso and burdock root.

Miso: protection against radiation and cancer, protein, probiotics for healthy digestion, calcium, iron, the list is just too long.  The key is that you never want to put miso into boiling water and cook it, that will kill all of those wonderful microbes that do the body so much good.  Read more here: The Health Benefits of Miso

Burdock root: long used in Chinese herbal medicine, burdock is a blood detoxifier, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and a great source of fiber and potassium. Further reading: Natural Herbs Guide: Burdock

This recipe is partially inspired by Sandor Katz’s miso soup recipe in Wild Fermentation, an incredibly inspiring and well-written book about home fermentation.

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Serves: 2-3 as a one-dish meal
Total time: 20-25 minutes

5 cups water
2 inches of a burdock root
4 baby portobellos
7 oz. soft tofu
2 baby bok choy
1 clove garlic, finely grated
2 tsp ginger, finely grated
6 tbsp mellow white miso
6-8 scallions, chopped for garnish


1. Peel and slice burdock into thin disks; I quartered the disks because the burdock was pretty wide. Slice the baby portobellos into thin disks, and chop in half if they’re too large to fit in a spoon. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Throw it all in and cook for 3-4 minutes.

2. Cube the tofu and add.

3. Slice off the bottom of the bok choy then continue slicing up the leaves so you’re left with disks of the white part and shredded leaves. Add to the pot.

4. Check that the burdock is softened, and if yes then remove 1 cup of broth. Turn off the flame, add the garlic and ginger, and cover the pot.

5. Mash the miso into the cup of broth that you removed, and once it’s well mixed return it to the pot and taste. If you like a stronger miso flavor, you can replace some or all of the miso with a darker miso; add it in parts and check the flavor of the soup in between. You’ll probably need 3 tbsp. for red miso, and 4 for yellow if you’re entirely replacing.

6. Garnish with green onions and enjoy rejuvenation with each bite. If heating leftovers, be careful not to boil.