Ready in 30 minutes, this easy recipe is low in calories and rich in heart-healthy fiber and nutrients. Vegan and gluten-free, this hearty soup is perfect for an inexpensive but tasty lunch or dinner. Research suggests that a plant-based diet helps lower risk for cardiovascular disease, with a recent study reporting that people who ate at least one serving of carrots or squash daily were 60% less likely to have heart problems. Kale is such a nutritional powerhouse that it’s been called “the queen of vegetables” due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. This recipe can be served on its own or with your favorite side salad. For extra flavor, serve with a lemon wedge or additional fresh herb sprigs of your choice.

1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
½ pound of yellow potatoes (2 or 3 small potatoes), diced into bite-sized cubes
28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cups of low-sodium or salt-free vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 sprigs of thyme or fresh rosemary
1 cup of green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
2 cups of kale, chopped
Parsley sprigs for garnish

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté garlic and onion until lightly browned (about 6 minutes). Add carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, vegetable broth, water, pepper and thyme or rosemary sprigs. Turn up heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until potatoes and lentils are tender. Add kale, stir and cook for 3 to 4 additional minutes or until kale is wilted. If soup is too thick, add more water or vegetable broth. Garnish with parsley and enjoy! Serves six. Adapted from and