Sunday, August 14, 2011

Smoky Red Lentil Soup

 "Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup?" ~ Miss Manners
Soup in August? Yeah well, we've had two despicably dreary weekend days. Low, slate-gray clouds, a relentless downpour, and heaps & heaps of self-pity. I needed some cheering up, something to take my mind off my pitiful sorrows.
Smoky Red Lentil Soup - A Blog O. Food original
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp sweet curry
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 3 red peppers, roasted, skins peeled
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 6 strips apple wood bacon, fried crisp
Pre-heat oven to 450°F. Bring up the temperature of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat until translucent, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute to release its oils. Add the celery and carrot and cook uncovered until most of the moisture has cooked off and the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the tomato paste and spices, stir to combine and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the lentils and chicken stock, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cover the Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
Meanwhile, coat red peppers in olive oil and place on a baking sheet in the hot oven. Rotate and turn the peppers frequently until charred all over. Remove peppers from the oven and let rest in a mixing bowl covered with a moist towel.
After removing the stems, seeds, and charred skin of the cooled peppers, purée in a food processor, along with the lentil soup. Purée in batches if necessary. Return the smooth soup to the pot, stir in the cream and adjust the seasoning for salt. Keep covered and warm over a low heat until ready for serving.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls, gently mound a few pieces of chopped bacon in the center of the bowl, and offer up toasted baguette slices on the side.
I have to admit that every time I make a creamed soup I covet greatly Williams-Sonoma's immersion blender, and I am just about one more disappointment away from some serious impulse spending, but really a food processor works perfectly adequately.
And what about the soup? I wanted rich smoky flavor, and I got just that. All the paprika and roasted peppers made sure of it. The curry rounded out all the other elements. Bacon needs no justification, least ways, not in these pages.
Curled up on the couch watching bad TV and slurping warm, hearty soup on a crummy weekend. Sometimes, only the guilty pleasures will get you through the rough spots.
Thanks for taking the time - Blog O. Food


BigAssBelle said...

Hmmm... I am not a fan of the texture of lentils, one of the few things that bother me, texture-wise. This soup would allow me the taste w/o the weirdness of popping through that little skin to the grainy/mushy interior. Must try. Also must try the immersion blender I ordered 5 months ago. It still sits in its box. What's happened to my life??? :-O

Blog O. Food said...

If it's still boxed up, Belle, you can always ship it to me!!! ~ B.O.F.