Warm hugs and hot soup… two of my favourite things.
It all started sitting on the floor playing lego with my 4 year old when I asked him what we should make for dinner. “Hot soup with crusty bread”… (huh?) High-fiving wildly on the inside, I checked again… and sure enough, the request was indeed.. soup! So I grabbed my jacket and ran to the bakery for a fresh loaf of rye sourdough before heading back my stove, ready to oblige his humble and healthy request for soup.
Scouring through my fridge, I remembered a delicious pepper soup my sister made me while visiting this summer. I assembled a few ingredients I thought would work well using the idea of her soup – but heartier. And what transpired was a new favourite meal. A comforting winter soup that feels like eating your way through a warm bowl of hugs. Don’t you love those moments, when what you set out to do is a simple meal using whatever you happen to have on hand, that then end up making an pretty great, repeat-worthy meal!?
I started roasting the peppers and zucchini and got chopping all the basics of a great soup – onion, garlic and ginger root. And by the end we all ended up having creamy soup with crusty rye that night. And even the kids went back for second helpings. So here ya have it… I thought it was too good and too simple not to share.
Red lentils are perfect for soup as the almost completely disappear when cooked. Visible or not, they add a great amount of plant protein to a meal and are also an amazing source of fibre, making this soup extra satisfying and great for digestive health.
- 1 tsp butter/ghee/oil
- 1 large onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger root (about 25 gm/1 oz)
- 2 medium carrots (200 gm)
- 1 sweet potato (200 gm)
- 1 medium zucchini,
- 2 romano peppers
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) dry red lentils
- ½-1 tsp salt
- pinch black pepper
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
- Fresh chives, chilli flakes + fresh parmesan to top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Split the romano peppers open by cutting them length wise and discard the stem and seeds. Cut the zucchini length wise and place them in the oven to roast for 25 minutes until fragrant and soft.
- While the veggies are roasting, heat a large pot and melt a little butter or oil. Sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until soft - about 5 minutes. Then add ginger and leave for another minute or so.
- Add in chopped carrot, sweet potato, vegetable stock, lentils and spices and leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the lentils completely cooked.
- Once the vegetables in the oven are roasted, place them in a blender (or if using a hand held blender put them in a bowl).
- Once the soup mix is cooked, add that to the blender as well and blend until smooth (or as smooth as you want it). Alternatively you can use a handheld blender as well and blend it in the pot.
- Top with fresh chives, chilli flakes, parmesan and crusty bread.