2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
4 medium potatoes (preferably red), peeled (if desired) and chopped into 1/2″ dice
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 tsp ground Allspice
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/8 tsp ground Cloves
dash ground black pepper
4 Cups vegetable broth
1-1/2 Cups red lentils
2 Cups water
1 Cup kale, torn or roughly chopped
1/4 Cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp File Powder
In a large, heavy pot on the stove, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, and saute until tender and onion is translucent, about 10 min. Stir in the diced potatoes, carrot, and garlic, and continue to saute, stirring constantly, until the potatoes are softening and are coated with butter, about 5 min more. Add the ground allspice, cumin seeds, cayenne pepper, cloves, and pepper to the butter-vegetable mixture and gently toss to combine.
Turn up stove to medium-high heat, and add the vegetable broth, followed by the red lentils. Add just enough water to barely cover the ingredients with liquid. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in the kale. Cook, stirring every 5 minutes or so, for a total of 45 to 50 min, or until the red lentils are tender.
Remove the soup from the heat, and stir in in the cilantro and File Powder. Allow soup to sit about 5 min, to allow File Powder to thicken the broth. Serve immediately.