Living in the Bay Area the summer growing season tends to stretch right through October, yielding peppers and tomatoes right up to the point when temperatures take a precipitous drop. This provides a chance to add some summer flavor to a fall soup and still get that smug, self-satisfied seasonal locavore thing going. All kidding aside I do love local produce and I made this soup with the last mix of peppers from my CSA; some were sweet and some were hot, but you can use whatever you like.
This recipe isn’t exactly winning any prizes for originality, it’s a lentil soup for chrissakes, but I think I’ve made enough tweaks to the various recipes I’ve culled it from to post it here as my own.
Roast Tomato and Pepper Soup
- 1 lb lentils (I used green lentils, but brown lentils should work fine)
- 1 lb mixed peppers
- 1 lb red tomatoes, cut in chunks
- 6 cups vegetable stock, or water and powder/bouillon
- 2 carrots – peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery – diced
- 1 large onion – diced
- 1 TBS Cumin seeds – toasted and ground.
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- Half the peppers and remove the seeds or be like me and cut around the core. Place on a pan and roast under the broiler until some of the skin turns black. Remove and chop, set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Toss the tomatoes with some olive oil in a roasting pan and roast for about 20 minutes.
- Add garlic and olive oil to a large heavy bottomed pot and heat over medium high heat until fragrant.
- Add onions, carrots, celery, and salt and saute until onions are translucent.
- Add peppers and spices and stir for a minute or so until everything is coated and the spices get a little toasty.
- Add lentils, vegetable stock, and tomatoes.
- Bring to a boil and boil for a couple of minutes, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook for another 30 minutes or so. Adjust seasonings.
- Puree with an immersion blender or let cool slightly and blend in batches in an upright blender. Blend to whatever consistency you like (I like to blend about half of the batch and then return it to the pot so there are some whole lentils mixed in with the pureed) and reheat if using an upright blender.
Serve with fresh bread and hot sauce on the side.