After what felt like summer weather over the holidays, the climate in LA has shifted back to cooler temperatures and nothing’s been sounding better than cozying up indoors with warm food to go along. This time of year tends to leave me craving heartier meals, but because hearty can often mean heavy or unhealthy, I’ve been making an effort to find the right balance by preparing recipes that manage to be filling, without all the guilt. This soup is a perfect complement to chilly winter nights. It’s substantial, but packed with only healthy ingredients, so there’s no guilt in going back for seconds. My boyfriend took one bite and said it was the best soup he’s ever tasted (which is quite a compliment coming from a guy who would eat a burrito and milkshake for every meal if he could).
1/4 t seasoned salt (mix equal parts pepper, garlic powder, curry powder, cumin, chili powder, dry mustard, paprika, ground turmeric, ground thyme, sugar and salt and store it in a container. This will give you plenty of extra to use whenever you want to make this recipe). *If you’re short on time, you can skip the seasoning without sacrificing most of the taste, but it does add more depth of flavor.
Heat oil in 8-qt stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery. Saute until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic. Stir for 1 minute. Stir in the lentils, then the chard and potatoes. Add the broth. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and add tomatoes. Simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes. Add the garbanzos, pepper and seasoned salt. Simmer another 10 minutes.