There is a restaurant in San Francisco called Outerlands that serves excellent, seasonal cuisine in a rustic chic settings. Although everything there is delicious, their soups in particular are outstanding. On a recent trip to Outerlands, we had a lentil soup that completely blew our minds and changed everything we thought about lentil soup. Gone was the boring, mushy soup. This soup was topped with crunchy shaved vegetables and spiked with smoky, salty olives. It was one of the best soups we ever had. We went home and immediately began planning with a homemade version. Here is our recipe:
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 cup green lentils, rinsed
4 large leaves kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
6 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced using a mandoline
1 medium head fennel, very thinly sliced using a mandoline
12 kalmata olives, coarsely chopped
Smoked olive oil for serving (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minutes.
2. Add lentils, water, salt and pepper. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
3. Add kale and cook until wilted and soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in olives.
4. Serve with shaved veggies on top and drizzled with smoked olive oil if desired.