The inspiration for a meal can come from something as simple as a color. These yellow peppers echo the golden tones of the last leaves dangling from the trees these days.

Adding yellow lentils makes this soup hearty enough for dinner.

Roasted Yellow Pepper and Lentil Soup  (adapted from Running with Tweezers)

2 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup yellow lentils, rinsed
3 cups chicken stock  (or use vegetable stock)
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 tsp. saffron
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 tsp roasted cumin
salt and fresh cracked pepper
yogurt or sour cream for garnish

Cut the peppers in quarters, seed them and brush lightly with olive oil.  Roast at 450 until slightly charred and softened, about 15 minutes.
In a soup pot heat the olive oil and butter and saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes.  Add the lentils, jalapeno, saffron, cumin, salt and pepper and broth.  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Puree the soup until smooth in a blender, processor, or with an immersion blender.  Check the seasoning, and serve with a dollop of sour cream and some crusty brown bread.

The original recipe called for char roasting the peppers over the gas flame on the stove, or under the broiler.  My kitchen filled with smoke when I tried to broil/char the oiled peppers, so I ended up cutting them in quarters and roasting them at 450 for about 15 minutes.  I left the skin and the charring on.

This soup is a nice change from all the squash soups popular right now.  Honestly although I love winter squash, I don’t like the sweetness that a lot of these soups have going on.  Sweet and soup just don’t mix in my mind.

The jalapeno lends an unexpected heat to the otherwise laid back flavors.

Lentils are an ancient food source — and one of our earliest domesticated crops.  I’m loving lentils this season because they cook up in the same time as veggies do. No soaking, just rinse and go, and they’re lighter and less starchy than most dried beans.
They come in lots of colors and sizes, too, so don’t settle for those gray ones that come in the huge bags by the rice. (How many times have you found one of those stuffed at the back of your cupboard?)  It’s worth visiting the pricier specialty/whole foods stores once in a while to stock up of interesting varieties if your regular supermarket doesn’t carry them.

Don’t forget a loaf of pumpernickel and lots of butter.

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12 Responses to Roasted Yellow Pepper and Lentil Soup

  1. Mary says:

    This looks perfect! Everything about this post is making me happy. Chile and squash, yes please. I need to try that soon. The bowl in your final shot is just lovely too. Oh, and the smoke filled kitchen? Something tells me the oil had something to do with that. :P

  2. Sarah says:

    Soup? Yes! Lentil soup + chili? Triple yes!!! This is a perfect comfort soup to me, Sue! :)

  3. What a fantastic looking soup! I love the vibrant yellow colors. I’ve never made a lentil soup where you puree the lentils, but it makes total sense. I can’t wait to try this out! Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. annie says:

    Were you or are you a food stylist? Your photos make me hungry and inspired to both cook and shop! I love this recipe…partly because of the colors!

  5. Stephanie says:

    That picture made me realize how badly I need to make roasted peppers. I love how you took the yellow color and ran with it. I’m bookmarking this soup to try out. I love lentils and creamy soups.

  6. Cathy says:

    I love the blue bowl too- you have a way with colors. This soup sounds and looks delicious!

  7. More soup recipes for us the better. I love roasting the veggies before making the soup. Roasting carrots are in the oven right now! I must say I really covet that adorable blue bowl you have.

  8. I love the color of this – and I agree with you on not loving sweetness in soups.

  9. Looks delicious! I’m very much into soups right now.

  10. Hello Sue:
    Goodness knows what we should live on throughout the chilly days of autumn and winter if it were not for soup. This looks so beautifully colourful and lentils are a favourite with us. A winner!

  11. Yummy Mummy says:

    Lentil soup is a family favorite in our house. Yours looks so yummy with the peppers!

  12. We have a soup club at work and this one looks perfect!

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