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The original recipe comes from Paula Wolfert's Mediterranean Grains and Greens cookbook. I have modified it so that it uses no oil. I have to watch my food budget, so I also use supermarket lentils instead of the imported ones, and bottled lemon juice instead of freshly squeezed. You can, of course, use Spanish pardina or Indian, Egyptian or Ethiopian lentils if you like, as well as freshly squeezed lemon juice. The Tuscan kale is very good with this dish, and you could add arugula, watercress or beet greens to the soup. This is a very light, savory and tasty soup that is much better tasting on the second day.
- 1 lb of dark lentils
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 quarts water or 2 quarts vegetable stock
- 1 medium russet potato, sliced paper thin
- 1 large chopped onion
- 1 1⁄2 lbs swiss chard or 1 1⁄2 lbs kale or 1 1⁄2 lbs spinach or 1 1⁄2 lbs beet leaves
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄3 cup lemon juice
- Wash the lentils and drain them in a colander. Put them into a soup pot with the chopped onion, garlic and salt and two quarts of water or broth, bring to a boil, skim any foam off, and cook for fifteen or twenty minutes.
- While the lentils are cooking, wash the greens and remove the stems from the chard or kale if you are using them. Slice the greens in narrow shreds. You should have about four cups.
- Spray a non-stick frying pan or seasoned cast iron skillet with canola spray, place it on the burner and add 1/4 cup broth from the cooking lentils to the pan. Add the cilantro and the greens, cover the pan and allow them to wilt for about five minutes. Scrape the contents of the skillet into the pan with the cooking lentils. Cook another twenty minutes or so, until the soup is thick.
- Stir the lemon juice into the soup and serve.