If you’re someone who doesn’t like brown lentil soups, you must give this one a try before giving up on it! Why? Because this is the best soup EVER!!!
It is so incredibly tasty; I promise you won’t be able to stop eating it! It has a whole different flavor palate than your typical lentil soup, with the yummy Asian flavors. The combination of the roasted peppers mixed with toasted sesame is simply outstanding!
I use to make this soup at my restaurant and it was always a big hit! In the original recipe, I added Parmesan cheese, which is outstanding! I decided to keep this one vegan with the option to add Parmesan if you want. It might sound weird to add cheese to an Asian inspired soup but it’s phenomenal!
I personally can’t stand the classic lentil soup, actually it’s sad to say but I loathe it! This soup, on the other hand, I can’t get enough of.
I like this with a crisp cold Sake or an Asian beer such as and Asahi or Sapporo. It’s also great with a Riesling, Pinot Gris, white Rioja, or Sauvignon Blanc.
Sesame Lentil Soup Recipe:
8 – 10 servings
- 2 1/2 Cups Dried Brown Lentils (or green, not French green)
- 12 Cups Filtered Water
- 4 Red Bell Peppers – roasted – deseed – destemmed – pureed
- 1/2 White Onion – diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
- 1/2 Cup + 3 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
- 4 Carrots – sliced
- 1/4 Cup Brown Rice Vinegar
- 1/3 Cup + 2 Teaspoon2 Tamari Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Hot Chili Sauce like Sriracha (Optional)
- 1/4 Cup Toasted Sesame Seeds – for sprinkling on top (Optional)
- 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Corn
*Garnish options; Sesame seed, green onions, chives, Parmesan or Asiago cheese.
Roast peppers on the stovetop on medium-high heat. A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs. When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.
Take a paper towel and rub off the char. It’s ok to leave a little of the char.
De-stem, de-seed and remove skins of bell peppers then puree in a food processor.
While peppers are roasting, thinly slice the carrots, dice the onion and add to a sauté pan along with 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Next, mince the garlic and add to onions. Sauté on medium heat for about 6 minutes, cover for 6 more. Add the wine, cover and cook for about 2 minutes then uncover and cook until wine is reduced to a syrupy. (about 3 more minutes)
Add water and lentils to the carrots, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer (in between low and medium-low) for 25 – 35 minutes. Or until lentils are soft.
While lentils are cooking, pour the pureed peppers into a medium sized bowl along with sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, tamari, sea salt and hot sauce if using. Set aside until lentils are finished cooking and then add to lentils. Cook for 10 more minutes then add the corn and cook for a few more minute to heat up the corn.
In a sauté pan add sesame seeds and stir on medium heat until golden. (optional)
Lentils have extremely high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber. They have cholesterol-lowering fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady stream of energy. A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements. Not only is the fiber good for your heart, the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain. Glucose is a sugar and a key source of energy for the cells in the body and it is the only fuel your brain can use. The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells and is a key component in keeping your brain healthy. Lentils are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with food containing vitamin C, the iron is enhanced, which in turn increase your energy. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years. years.
Bell Peppers are matured green bell peppers and have more nutrition as they mature. They are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin. Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers. They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E. They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain. They are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.