Our weather is cooling a bit, putting a hint of autumn in the air. And soup is beginning to sound good. Even though the weather is changing, tomatoes are still ripening and I know that after the night temperatures drop into the forties, the flavor starts deteriorating quickly. So, to use the ones that are ripe now, I made a roasted vegetable soup for dinner.
Nothing fancy, just roasted vegetables pureed with cooked red lentils for some extra texture and fiber. It’s pretty fast and can be prepped well ahead of time when you have an hour for the roasting. You can add whatever vegetables are available – eggplant, summer squash, winter squash, okra, sweet potatoes.
Roasted tomato vegetable soup (for two)
6-7 tomatoes, any variety
2 cloves garlic
½ cup chopped carrots
2 sweet peppers
½ c. red lentils
1 good-sized sprig of basil
Cut the tomatoes into quarters and put them in a roasting pan. Smash the garlic cloves and add to the pan. Add the carrots to the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and roast 45 minutes at 375. Cool.
Cut the peppers in half, seed and flatten them. Put in another roasting pan and roast for about half an hour in the same oven. When the peppers are tender and the skins beginning to blacken, remove them from the oven and put in a bowl with a plate over it to let them steam further. Peel when cool.
Cover the lentils with water and simmer for about 20 minutes until tender. Cool.
Add everything to the blender with the basil and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a hint of sugar or agave syrup.
You can make this creamy by adding sour cream, yogurt or ricotta; make it Spanish by adding cumin and chile. Sriracha makes it spicy-sweet. And garlic croutons add another dimension.