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Rice: Cook according to package instructions, slightly in advance of the lentils.
Lentils: Rinse and swish the lentils in a fine-holed colander for a few minutes until the starchy bubbles are gone. Transfer lentils to a large stockpot, and pour in the water. Turn stove heat on high, and stir in the salt, olive oil, and garlic halves. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, and stir in the red pepper flakes. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The final consistency should be a thick soup, so if it’s drying out, turn down the heat and/or add a little water. About 4 minutes before the lentils finish cooking, stir in the kale.
Assembly: Scoop rice (if using) into heated bowls, and ladle the lentils on top. Dollop with yogurt, garnish with fresh chopped parsley, and sprinkle on red pepper flakes and a little dried mint (if using).
Leftovers: Reheat in a lidded pan over the stove on low heat or in a covered bowl in the microwave.