Winter Lentil Soup

This recipe was contributed by CSA member Sarah (originally from the magazine Real Simple) and is perfect for late October. Sarah says, “I’ve typed out the recipe as it was published. I make lots of great-tasting substitutions, depending on what I have. Swiss chard for kale; fresh tomatoes for canned; red onion for leek; potatoes for sweet potatoes. I also find I use half the salt, maybe less.”

Winter Lentil Soup


  • 4 leeks white and light green parts only
  • 1 bunch kale (3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 28- ounce can whole tomatoes drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 fresh basil leaves optional
  • 1/4 cup 1 ounce grated Parmesan (optional)


  1. Slice each leek in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/4 inch-thick half moons (about 2 cups). Place in a large bowl of cold water and swish to remove any grit. Drain and pat dry. 

  2. Remove the stems from the kale. Stack the leaves and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch-wide strips; you'll need 3 cups.

  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes.

  4. Add water and bring to a boil. Stir in the kale, sweet potatoes, lentils, thyme, salt, pepper, and basil (if using). Simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

  5. Top with Parmesan, if using, before serving.