Red lentil, Beet Leaf and Mushroom Soup

Last Updated on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 03:15 Written by Flax Wednesday, 3 November 2010 03:03

Beet leaf/Mangold/Kale

The beet leaves are in season, they are full, and bright. Adina asked me what to do with them so in today’s class we made two dishes with them. The soup below, and a Beet Leaf – Wakame Pie.
This soup is accredited to Lucy Blaser. It is one of the recipes from her calander that she distributed a few years ago. I basically use her recipe with only a few small changes.
Another reason I taught this soup today is that it is in harmony with Jewish life. This upcoming shabbat we read in the Torah about a red lentil dish that Ya’akov sold to Esav for his birthright. (My cousin Rakel Berenbaum writes Portion on the Portion in Torah Tidbits, so I guess she inspired me to cook this way as well.) In Chinese medicine, the Autumn emotion is one of sadness or mourning. The lentil in Judaism is also symbolic of mourning, the roundess of the lentil signifies eternity, the continuity of life and death. Ya’akov was making the red lentil dish to commemorate the day of Abraham’s death. So whether you want to think Chinese or Jewish, this is a good soup to make for Shabbat.
Health wise this dish includes:
The dark green leafy vegetable will oxygenate your blood and keep you young and healthy.
The orange vegetables, carrots and sweet potato, which tonify the spleen and help with sugar cravings.
Turmeric, a bitter spice which will clean toxins from your system. It has also been shown as a natural preventative for Parkinsons disease and Alzheimers.
The mushrooms are anti-carcenogenic and also clean toxins from the system.
Lentils, which are considered by the Chinese to increase ones vitality or ones kidney jing.


olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cm (1/2″) ginger chopped
1 bunch beet leaves (mangold or kale)
1 package shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 carrot, chopped
1 small sweet potato, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley or cilantro (or both)
4 liters water
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin
salt and pepper

Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil. Add the spices and beet leaves and saute until the leaves lose some of the water and are limp. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.

Partially puree with and immerser.

Serve hot.


1 Comment

  1. Adeena Haber   |  Tuesday, 09 November 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I made the soup for shabbat and everyone loved it!

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