An infinite number of footsteps have left traces on my kitchen floor in the past few weeks. Warm fire glowed in the kitchen stove. The home was full of laughter of my family and have warmed up the intermittent cold winter nights.
We have two more weeks before the holidays officially begin here, but it feels like it already started for us since the Thanksgiving. We have been away for a week soaking up the charm of the Disney, the World of make believe, reliving our childhood with the children, the festivities and the best of the fireworks and shows.
With holidays, birthdays and family, I have not even stepped near my blog. This time is always the busiest time of the year for us. I might have to disappear again right after this post.
This soup was made on a bitterly cold day. The thick, creamy and nourishing bowlful will warm you up and soothe you. Just the way you would want to be pampered on a chilly evening – curled up with a warm, aromatic steaming bowl, a blanket and lovely company. Red lentils had always been my comfort food; from rainy days to cold days and the days when we get back home all tired from a vacation. The smell of roasted red peppers added a rustic charm to the soup. Overall it was really really good and just perfect for that night.
Since it is officially soup season, I thought I would post this before I take another break. The topping for the soup really depends on what you like. Crisp fried or baked bread is my first choice, but I added some spicy sprouts to it for a change and I do not regret.. It added an unexpected fresh texture to the soup.
Red chili flakes. Always.
It is smooth and creamy without the use of any dairy; although a dash of cream would not hurt if you really craved for some.
Happy Holidays to you all. Wishing you a very warm and peaceful season brimming with love.
(I will try to post during these last few weeks, but might be headed for a short break until the end of the year. The blog has more than 500 revipes. So you still get to explore the recipes if you need to. Until then….enjoy your time with friends and family.)
Roasted Red Pepper and Red Lentil Soup
Ingredients: (serves 4 )
- 1/3 cup husked red lentils/masoor dal + 2 – 2.5 cups water or stock + more water or stock if needed
- 1/4 cup chopped onions + 2 tablespoon finely chopped onions
- 1/2 tablespoon (about 3-4 cloves) chopped garlic
- 2 vine ripe tomatoes (or something equivalent), chopped
- 2 – 3 large red bell peppers/capsicum
- 1 tablespoon butter or ghee (or oil for vegan version)
- fresh herbs whatever you want/or dried herbs (I have used fresh rosemary)
- salt and black pepper to taste
- optional: paprika or red chilli powder
Suggested topping for the soup: (my choice: a drizzle of ghee, red crushed pepper and spicy sprouts. Butter, Cream, Croutons, Toasted Nuts etc are other ideas)
Notes: You may used ready to use store bought roasted red peppers.
Wash lentils until water runs clear. In a pot add the lentils, chopped onion and garlic, tomatoes, herbs and paprika or chilli powder if you are using. Add the water or the stock, cover and cook until lentils are cooked through and mushy. Set aside.
While the lentils are cooking roast the red bell peppers. You may fire roast them or broil them in the oven (about 30 minutes until the skin chars and the peppers soften) or grill them outdoors. Either way coat the peppers with a light layer of oil before you roast them. Once roasted, remove from over/grill/stove top and place them in a bowl and cover them. Let it cool a bit. Uncover and remove the charred skin.
In a blender (I used Blendtec in the Soup setting), combine cooked lentils and roasted bell pepper and puree it smooth. There should be no lumps; it should be smooth and very creamy.
Heat the ghee or butter in a pot. Sauté the two tablespoons of onion and black pepper until onions soften. Add the blended lentils along with some water or stock.( as much as you need for desired consistency ) and simmer for a a while, about 10 more minutes. Adjust salt and pepper.
Serve hot with your favorite topping.
Notes: The soup will tend to thicken as it sits because of the lentils. You would just need to add a bit of liquid and simmer for a little bit to bring it back to the right consistency.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes to 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
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