Recipe: Cabbage and Green Lentil Soup

Several months ago, we found ourselves with a stockpile of cabbage, and it was on its way out. Like, out of the fridge and into the trash. So, I quickly looked around and found this recipe to try out. I did not adapt this one as much as I usually do, so I will credit The Traveler’s Lunchbox for the framework of which I worked from.

There are a few things I would change with this recipe including the use of lentils. As hard as I try, I can’t seem to like them. If anyone has suggestions on how to make these appealing, please let me know! I would probably use another bean or even chickpeas in the future, and I would definitely not use butter. 

I have been using a lot more coconut oil in my cooking these days. I use it in everything from savory to sweet concoctions, and it’s really wonderful. The subtle coconut flavor brings all kinds of different tastes to the palette.

Give this recipe a try and see what you can do with the substitutions and what not. Comment below of what you think!


1 1/2 cups Green lentils
1-1 1/2 lbs of pork or chicken
5 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 cup of dry white wine
1 bushy sprig fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of freshly-ground nutmeg
1 cup whole fat coconut milk, or to taste
2 cups of fresh spinach, kale or cabbage, washed, tough stems discarded and cut into ribbons
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped scallions or green onions (optional)
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Rinse the lentils and pick out any debris. Strain and combine them in a pot with the stock, thyme and tumeric and bring to a slow gentle boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 20 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, heat the butter in a skillet and sauté the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned and caramelized in places, about 12-15 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and spices and fry just until deeply aromatic, about 30 seconds.

Fish out the thyme from the simmering pot and then scrape the contents of the skillet into the pot with the lentils, and add the coconut milk and greens too. Bring everything back to a gentle boil and cook another 10 minutes, or until the flavors have blended and the greens are tender.

While the flavors are melding, heat the same skillet with a little oil or butter. Saute the pork or chicken until almost done, about 12 minutes depending on the cut of the meat. Then put in the pot of soup to add more flavor.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped scallions or green onions.


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