This rustic lentil variety is packed with nutritious ingredients like fiber-filled lentils, sweet butternut squash, and nourishing kale. Plus, little hands make great helpers prepping the greens and stirring the soup.
When buying your ingredients, opt for small green lentils, often called French lentils or lentils de Puy. They’ll hold their shape better through cooking. Also, pick lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale, cavalo nero, or dinosaur kale); it’s tender and mild-tasting. Serve the soup with crusty bread or whole grain crackers and you have a complete dinner with only one pot to clean—not to mention a satisfying lunch if there are any leftovers.
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
⅔ cup dried green lentils
½ teaspoon salt
1 bunch lacinato kale
3 cups cubed butternut squash
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Parent: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion; reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
Parent: Pour the broth into the pot. Bring to a boil.
Parent & child: Measure and add the lentils and salt to the pot. Stir.
Parent: Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Parent & child: Prep the kale: Tear both sides of the green leaf away from the stem. Repeat with all the leaves and discard the stems. Place the leaves in a large bowl of cold water. Swish to dislodge any dirt or grit. Let the leaves sit for one minute and then lift the greens out of the bowl and drain in a colander. (Don’t pour the greens into the strainer or the dirt will come with them.) Repeat once, or until the water is clear, then dry with a salad spinner or paper towel.
Parent & child: Add the squash to the pot.
Parent: Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Parent & child: Add the kale to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar.
Parent: Ladle the soup into serving bowls.
Child: Garnish each serving with a drizzle of olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper.
Per serving: calories 200, fat 7 g, protein 12 g, carbohydrates 25 g, dietary fiber 9 g, sugars 3 g
This recipe is: nut-free, gluten-free, and soy-free.