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.