Lentil Minestrone with Kale and Carrots

Recipe from: Deborah Madison, In My Kitchen


1-1/2 cups dark green lentils. 
2 tablespoons olive oil for the pot, plus your best olive oil for finishing
1 large onion, finely diced
2 stems green garlic, white and light green parts only, finely diced
1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup finely diced celery (reserve the pale leaves and finely chop them too, and keep them separate)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine or water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon smooth mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 bunch kale, stemmed and leaves chopped
1 cup interesting dried pasta shapes
Parmesan, for finishing


Cover the lentils with warm water and set them aside to soak. Warm the oil in a heated soup pot, then add the onion, nutritional yeast, bay leaves, thyme, carrots, celery and parsley. Give a stir and cook over medium heat, occasionally giving the vegetables a turn, until the onions are wilted (about 10 minutes). Add the tomato paste, smash it against the bottom of the pot, and cook until a glaze formed on the bottom of the soup pot. Add the garlic and white wine, scrape up the glaze from the bottom, and cook until the wine is mostly reduced. 

Pour the water off the soaking lentils and add them to the pot along with 2 teaspoons of salt and 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until the lentils are soft (about 30 minutes). When the soup is done, stir in the mustard and vinegar and then taste for salt and season with pepper. Add the greens and let them cook until tender (about 7 minutes). Cook the pasta in salted water just before serving. Ladle the soup into each bowl, add a few spoonfuls of pasta, then drizzle with your favorite olive oil. Finally, grate some Parmesan over each bowl and garnish with the reserved celery leaves.