Greens, Chickpea, and Lentil Soup

Adapted from Nik Sharma, The Flavor Equation

servings: 4-6

1/2 cup red lentils
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp ground turmeric powder
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 large tomato, diced, or 1/3 cup canned tomato
1 bunch collard greens, kale, or chard, rinsed, coarsely chopped
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1 quart low-sodium vegetable stock, or chicken stock, or water
1 Tbs tamarind paste, or 2 tablespoons lime juice
salt, to taste
chopped parsley, to taste
chopped cilantro, to taste


Pick over the lentils for any stones or debris, rinse in a fine-mesh sieve under running tap water, and transfer to a small bowl. Cover with 1 cup of water and soak for 30 minutes. If you’re running short on time, you can skip the soaking step. Just give the lentils a good rinse before adding them to the soup.

Warm the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, black pepper, red chili powder, and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it just starts to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t scorch.

Stir in the diced tomato and greens and sauté until the leaves turn bright green, 2 to 4 minutes.

Drain the soaked lentils and add them to the pan along with the chickpeas and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are tender and completely cooked, 25 to 30 minutes. If the soup seems excessively thick, or all the broth has been absorbed, add more broth as desired.

Stir in the tamarind paste. Taste and season with salt.

Before serving, stir in the chopped parsley and cilantro.

Serve hot with slices of warm buttered toasted bread or naan, if desired.