On this rainy weekend, we enjoyed a light but hearty (a bit of an oxymoron, isn't it?) lentil stew that was made brawnier by a smoked turkey leg and accompanied by colorful chunks of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes and deep-green kale. This lentil soup is a melding pot of textures and smoky vegetable flavors that gets better with each day, so it's worthwhile to make a big batch. Relatively simple and quick to put together, this soup is quite sumptuous and adds a lot of color to the grayest of days.
Lentil Stew with Smoked Turkey and Sweet Potatoes
Notes: The recipe calls for a smoked turkey leg that is deboned and diced. To make the leg easier to handle, I simmered the entire leg in the soup for 30 minutes, removed it and allowed it to cool down before I diced it into chunks and returned it into the soup. While I haven't tried it, I think the smoked turkey could be removed entirely for a vegetarian version.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 3 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 lb. smoked turkey leg, deboned, skinned and diced (about 2 cups meat)
- 1 1/2 cups brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 1/4 lb. orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 bunch kale or chard, stems removed and leaves chopped
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and celery and sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tsp. of the thyme and cook, stirring, until the onion is brown, about 4 minutes. Add the broth, turkey and lentils. Cover, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.
- Add the sweet potatoes to the pan and simmer until almost tender, about 12 minutes. Add the kale and simmer until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season the stew with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining 1 tsp. thyme. Ladle the stew into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 6.