Food: lentil soup with chicken+kale [v-day warmth]

My husband and I are not much into celebrating Valentines. We mostly stay in and prepare a hearty dinner for ourselves. We have gone out once or twice, but hated the rush and the long waits. So in commemoration of our boring lives, hehe, I am sharing this warm soup made of lentils with chicken and kale. Enjoy!

I have used the following ingredients, 
1 cup of lentils
1 chicken breast cubed
1 can of diced/crushed tomatoes
1/2 onion
1 cup chopped carrots
5/6 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2/3 bay leaves
kale leaves about 2 cups
dried red chilies
olive oil

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and sear the chicken pieces. Add salt, cumin powder and red chili powder to the chicken. Fry until browned. 

 Add the onions, carrots and the red pepper flakes.

 Now add the soaked (1 hour) lentils and mix well.

Pour in the canned tomatoes with the bay leaves.

Use the tomato can to pour the water into the pan. This will use up all the juices remaining inside the can. Use hot water. I poured about 7/8 cups of water. But the thickness of the soup solely relies on your preference. I usually add some barley/oats to my soup to make it a little creamy. 

Let the soup simmer for 20 mins before you add the kale. Throw away any stems from the kale. Simmer for another 20 minutes. I like my kale to mix in well with the soup. If you don't then simmer to your liking. Also, if you don't like a lot of crunch to your soup, take a potato masher and mash up some of the lentils in the pot.   

Before serving, heat some more oil in a skillet. Throw in the dried red chilis. Break the chilis and discard the seeds before you throw them in the oil. Add the garlic as well. When the garlic releases its aroma, pour everything in this pan into the soup pan. Make sure the soup is bubbling when you pour this in. You will hear a hissing sound. Your soup is done!

If you like, then you can serve the soup with some grated cheese on top. Happy Valentines Day!


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