It was either a late trip to the market or a homemade lentil soup to make use of whatever I have left in the fridge and on the pantry shelves.
I actually really love the challenge of pantry clean up meals, it forces you out of the creativity comfort zone, you know..to that place where magic starts to happen.
First thing I grabbed was this cute little jar of red lentils I kept moving around as I reorganized and painted the pantry. From the fridge: some leftover roasted peppers from the pasta pepper sauce I made the other day, and some fresh lemon thyme I harvested yesterday.
Though it is still scorching hot out there, I see signs of fall creeping in on my vine leaves. They are starting to crisp up and turn into the loveliest deep rusty-red color you ever have seen. Which immediately puts me in the mood for slow simmered stews and soups. Like this homemade lentil soup with smoky roasted peppers, it most definitely hit the spot together with some crispy and gooey Panini I’ll share with you tomorrow.
Technically a vegetarian homemade lentil soup, however I did add some diced organic ham cubes at the end for Batman, but feel free to keep it vegan for yourself. I really don’t think it needs the meat as it already has a subtle smoky layer flavors permeating the lentils from the roasted peppers and kisses of smoked paprika.
I hate to brag, but kids, this really is the best homemade lentil soup I’ve ever had, drool worthy and exploding with aromas.
- 1 1/2 c red lentils
- 3 bell peppers roasted & cleaned
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil organic
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar organic
- 1/4 c tomato paste organic
- 6 cloves garlic whole
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 large carrot sliced organic
- 1/2 c green peas frozen organic
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin + more to your taste
- sea salt to your taste buds
- 1/2 c Herbs for garnish
- 1/4 c pepitas or toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
- 1 c organic ham diced – optional
- 2 1/2 qt filtered water
In a large cast iron pot heat up 2 tbsp of the olive oil and cook the whole garlic cloves on medium flame until golden. Add the onion with a pinch of sea salt and saute together until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, cumin, bay leaf and thyme. Add the lentils and pour in the water. Bring to a gentle simmer.
Meanwhile add the roasted peppers with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the red wine vinegar to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth and add it to the soup. Stir to combine, partially cover with a lid and allow the soup to simmer gently for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through and the broth has reduced to a thick soup consistency. Add the frozen green peas and ham cubes and simmer a few more minutes until heated through. Adjust seasoning to your taste with sea salt and serve hot garnished with fresh herbs, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few toasted pumpkin seeds.
P.S. This Rustic Tomato Cabbage Soup Recipe with Lentils <—Yummy !