Friday, October 3, 2008

Hearty and healthy for when the weather turns - lentil and bell-pepper soup

I've not prepared a lot of lentils in my life although I like them. First of all there isn't a strong lentil-eating tradition in Estonia and secondly, I don't remember my mom ever making anything with them. But growing out of your primary influences is a sign of growing up, no? :)

Anyway, to head into the increasingly gray fall with something really healthy (and to counteract a real chocolate and cake-bindge we were on) I came up with this very simple but nice and filling soup.

After all Health Magazine did pronounce lentils one of the 5 healthiest foods on earth.

Red lentil, carrot and bell-pepper soup. (Punase läätse, porgandi ja paprikasupp.)

1 green bell pepper, chopped
red lentils, ~ 1 generous handful
3 medium or two large carrots, coarsely grated
1 white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
300 - 400 gr pumpkin puree or raw pumpkin - optional (I had some left over from the pie)
1 tbsp corn-flower oil
1 organic vegetable-stock cube (optional - the soup will be fragrant enough without it, but depends on your taste)

Heat the oil on the bottom of a pot and add the nigella seeds and turmeric powder. After 30 sec. add onion and garlic and cook until tender and golden.
Add lentils and cook for 2-3 minutes and mix so that lentils are coated with oil. Add chopped bell-pepper, reduce heat and saute for 5 minutes.

Add water (or vegetable stock), salt, coarsely grated carrots and the pumpkin puree (optional, will make the soup smoother if that is what you like, if you'll end up blitzing the soup into a puree it's definitely a good idea, if you'll keep it as is, then it'll be good without).
Cook for ~7 minutes.
Serve with sour-cream or as is.

This time I didn't turn it into a pureed soup as I usually do (Siim doesn't really like those) and it was a nice change. As the carrots are grated the textures all match nicely.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Looks lovely! I am always wondering how to add lentils. This is a fabulous dish.