I am a total wimp in the cold. I hate it. Can’t stand it. Growing up in Florida doesn’t really lend itself to learning how to deal with the cold. So now I just avoid it. When I went to college in Boston, I showed up with a windbreaker and sneakers and thought that would get me through a New England winter. It did not. After 7 years of living on the East Coast in cold weather, I decided to swear off cold weather and move somewhere where it is warm. And sunny. So while the rest of the country is in a polar vortex, it is 50 degrees in San Francisco. I can handle 50 degrees. I cannot handle anything below. So for those that don’t live here in California I am going to give you this recipe to get you through this polar vortex. It is the perfect cold weather soup to stay inside bundled up on the couch with.
For the record San Francisco gets cold, but just not when you would expect it. It just gets bone chilling cold in August rather than in the winter. The San Francisco fog rolls in and it is freezing. To the bone. That makes for lousy summers but I think in the end it all evens out. (As a side note, in true” techy” fashion the San Francisco fog has his own Instagram and Twitter handle – check it out. Karl the Fog is actually quite witty check him out)
Ok, back to this soup. I have been making this for a couple years now and it is one of my one-pot wonders. One of those dishes that is a meal unto itself. It is inspired by 101 Cookbook ‘s version although I have changed to be gluten-free. I am not sure where it gets the name New Year Noodle Soup, because I make it year round. The soup is filled with turmeric and cumin, chiles and kale, along with a medley of beans and lentils. It is healthy and hearty, my favorite kind of soup. It is vegetarian, gluten-free and all around good for you. It could also be vegan if you take out the creme fraiche. Make a big pot of it and eat it for days, it is delicious. Don’t forget to make the toppings, especially the caramelized onions, they are the best part!
Stay warm and enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 green serrano chili, finely chopped and seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 quarts of vegetable stock
- 1 cup of lentils
- 1 15oz can of chickpeas
- 1 15oz can of kidney beans
- 3oz rice noodles
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped to bite-sized pieces
- toasted walnuts
- creme fraiche
- chopped dill
Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until caramelized and golden, this takes about 10 minutes. Remove a big handfull of the caramelized onions and set aside. Add the chile and cook for a few minutes. Add the spices and cook for another thirty seconds, just long enough for them to toast a bit, then stir in the stock. Bring to a boil and add the lentils to the pot. Cook until they are just tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and kidney beans and the kale. Once the beans have heated throughout, check for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Just before you're ready to eat, bring the soup to a simmer and add the rice noodles.
Add a big squeeze of lime to the pot or serve wedges along with each bowl of soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Top each bowl with a big spoonful of caramelized onions, some creme fraiche, and a sprinkling of walnuts and dill.