Roasted red soup

Red pepper red lentil soup

There’s something pleasing about making a soup from similarly-colored ingredients. It frequently seems that foods of the same color taste good together. I’ve made a white soup, and soup meagre, which is a green soup, and now…we have a red soup. It’s comprised of roasted red peppers, red lentils and roasted tomatoes. It actually turned out to be a rusty/rosy color, because as we all know, red lentils are never actually red. They start out sort of salmon-colored, and cook up nearly yellow. Anyway…it’s a tasty soup. Smoky, a little acidic with red wine and balsamic vinegar, and bright with basil and oregano. I added a dollop of pesto as a garnish, for contrasting color, and because the flavor goes so nicely! In the summer this soup would make a wonderful use of tomatoes and peppers from your garden. In the winter, it makes a quick and easy meal with roasted reds in brine, and a can of fire roasted tomatoes. It’s still evocatively summery, though!

Here’s the Decemberist’s lovely Red Right Ankle.

1 T. olive oil
1 shallot – finely diced
1 clove garlic – finely diced
1 t. basil
1 t oregano
1/2 t. rosemary
1/2 t. smoked paprika
red pepper flakes
1/3 cup red wine
1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 cup roasted tomatoes, diced
1 T butter
1 T balsamic
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper

Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and the herbs. When everything is starting to brown, add the lentils and mix to coat everything. Add the peppers, and continue to cook for a few minutes till everything is warmed through. Add the paprika and pepper flakes and about 4 cups of cold water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes to half an hour, till the lentils are soft.

Add the tomatoes and red wine, and mix thoroughly. Cook for about 10 minutes more.

Add the butter and balsamic and 1 t. salt and plenty of pepper.

Blend in batches till it’s nice and smooth.

Serve with a dollop of pesto, if you like.

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