Roasted Carrot Red Lentil Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

This is a beautiful silky smooth fall inspired Roasted Carrot Red Lentil Soup with a bit of added texture from the carrot top pesto.  The roasted carrots mixed with the red lentils are a harmonious blend.  It is a delightful soup all on its own or with the addition of the carrot top pesto, which adds another facet of savory flavors.

Roasted Carrot Red Lentil Soup

It has really started to feel like fall around here with the cold air of the mornings and nights.  Growing up in L.A., there is really no such thing as fall.  Not like when I lived in Oregon with all the outstanding vibrant fall colors and crisp cold air.  Fall in Northern California isn’t like Oregon but it’s a little more colorful than L.A.  Now is the time to enjoy a nice warm bowl of soup, curled up on the couch with a cozy blanket by the fireplace.

 Fall represents a time of letting go, releasing the old and embrace the new.  Fall is truly a time of transition. As the leaves fall off the trees, they bare their branches to remind us how all things in life come and go.

 This is the perfect healthy soup to start off the fall season.  The carrot and carrot tops both contain antioxidants, which helps to keep colds away.  The carrot tops provide chlorophyll and more than 6 times the vitamin C than the carrots themselves.  Together they are even more nutritious than on their own.

Roasted-Carrot-Soup

I like a dry Rosé wine with this soup but it’s also good with a Pinot Gris or hot cup of tea.

Roasted-Carrot-Red-Lentil-Soup

Roasted Carrot Red Lentil Soup Recipe:

8 to 10 servings

  • 7 to 8 (2 pounds)  Carrots
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Dried Red Lentils
  • 1/2 White Onion – diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – minced
  • 2 Vegetable Bouillon Cubes
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 10 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme or 1 Teaspoon Fresh
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoons Sea Salt
Carrot Top Pesto
  •  1 1/2 Cups Carrot Tops
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil
  • 3/4 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup Aged Asiago Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea salt

Instructions:

Carrots
Preheat oven to 375
Cut the ends off the carrots and cut into 1 inch pieces.
Spread the carrots out on a baking sheet and pour a tablespoon of olive oil over the carrots, lightly sprinkle with salt and toss to evenly coat.  Roast for 30 – 40 minutes, until the carrots are cooked through and starting to caramelize.
Pesto
 Wash the carrot tops and dry them, shred the cheese and measure all the ingredients, then puree in a food processor or blender.  Set aside.
Soup

Add the onions to a 5 1/2 quart pot with the olive oil and saute on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue cooking for 5 – 7 more minutes until the garlic starts to brown.

Add the white wine and bouillon cubes, mash the bouillon, cook until wine is reduced and syrupy.

Measure, sort and rinse lentils until water runs clear. Add lentils and water, bring to a boil then reduce to medium low heat.  Skim off the starch and cook until lentils are soft.  (about 15 – 20 minutes)

Add the lentils and carrots to a food processor or blender and puree in 2 to 3 batches. Or use an immersion blender right in the pot.

  Carrot-Red-Lentil-Soup

 Health benefits:

Carrots contain beta-carotene that is then converted into vitamin A in your liver and helps restore vision. They lower the risk of coronary heart disease and are high in antioxidants that help in cancer prevention. They may also help with blood sugar regulation, delay the effects of aging, and improve the immune system.

Carrot tops are very healing and can help rid the body of toxins due to their antiseptic, diuretic and stimulating properties.  They are full of chlorophyll, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, especially Vitamin K, potassium and they contain 6 times more Vitamin C than the carrot themselves.

Red Lentil Piquillo Pepper Bisque

This is a truly delightful and velvety smooth soup!  It has incredible flavor with blended piquillo peppers, tomato, lentils, manchego cheese and toasted almonds!

Red-Lentil-Piquillo-Bisque

I made this soup on Wednesday and brought it to the farmers market to let my favorite ceramic artists Tom and Jasper to taste.  They shared it with two other guys and they gave me four thumbs up!  Yayyyy, I love feedback, especially positive feedback.

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of meeting a fellow food blogger that I admire very much!  Her name is Pang from the fantastic blog “Circa Happy“!  If you don’t know about Circa Happy, I highly recommend it!  She has to be one of the sweetest people/blogger out there and her photography is out of this world!  She is so sweet in person and it shows in her posts.  It is so awesome to meet someone that you have only communicated with through the internet.  We met up in San Jose for lunch and a little shopping at a very cool outside mall called Santana Row.  We talked about everything and of course food photography and blogging.  We plan to meet again!   The best part about making a big batch of soup is that it is so nice to be able to heat some up after a long day out and call it a night!

Red-Lentil-Piquillo-Pepper-Bisque

I enjoy this with a red Rioja and a white rioja, so it pretty much goes with any dry red or dry white wine.

Red-Lentil-Piquillo-Soup

Recipe: Approx. 8 – 10 servings

Piquillo Puree

  • 1 10 oz. Jar Piquillo Peppers (without sugar add) – rinse and remove seeds
  •  1 Cup Strained Tomatoes (I used Bionaturae in a glass jar) or 1 Large Tomato – grated, skin discarded
  • 1/2 Cup Toasted Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup Manchego Cheese ( I used raw aged 12 months – Mitica)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Hot Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

Soup

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 White Onions – diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – minced
  • 1 Bouillon Cube – vegetarian – unsalted
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Cups Red Lentils – sorted  and rinsed
  • 8 Cups Filtered Water

Garnish (optional, but so good)

  • Red Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • Creme Fraiche
  • Toasted Almonds – roughly chopped

Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F

Toast almonds – spread out on a cookie sheet and bake on the middle rack for 18 minutes (put a timer on so you don’t burn).   Let cool, then roughly chop.

While almonds are toasting, dice the onion and add to a 4 to 5 1/2 quart soup pot or dutch oven along with the olive oil.  Sauté on medium heat.
Mince the garlic and add to onions and sauté for about 10 – 15 minutes or until garlic is slightly golden.
 Add wine and bouillon.  Mash bouillon cube to dissolve and cook until wine is syrupy.
While onions are cooking, measure lentils, sort for any rocks and rinse.  Set aside.
When the onions are finished cooking, add water and lentils.  Turn up heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until lentils are soft.
While lentils are cooking, make the piquillo puree.  In a food processor or blender; puree the piquillo peppers, crushed tomato sauce (if using a tomato, cut in half and grate on a cheese grater with the cut side of the tomato down), almonds, cheese, vinegar, paprika and salt.  Add the puree to soup when the lentils are finished cooking.
Puree with a hand held blender (immersion blender) or you can use a food processor but it won’t be as smooth.
Health benefits:
Piquillo peppers are a high source of fiber, and Vitamins C, E, A, and B.  The vitamin C content is as high as a citrus fruit.  They improve the blood circulation and reduce high blood pressure.  They also help reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol and promote healthy cholesterol.
Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady steam 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.  They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K.  They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth.

Roasted Pepper Red Lentil Soup with Tomato and Basil

This is a seriously comforting Roasted Pepper Red Lentil Soup, great anytime of the year.

Tomato-Basil-Red-Lentil-Soup

I literally threw this soup together.  There was nothing I felt like eating in the refrigerator.  I saw that I had red lentils, basil, tomatoes and leftover roasted red bell pepper sauce and just went for it.  It turned out so good that I had to share it with you.  Red lentils are great for a quick soup because they only take 20 – 25 minutes to cook.

 Sometimes you feel like there isn’t anything to eat, but if you look around I bet you can find ingredients that will work great together.  You would be surprised what you can come up with if you try.  So get creative and have fun with it! : )

Tomato-and-Basil-Red-Lentil-Soup

I enjoyed this soup with a Verdejo from the Rueda region of Spain and it was perfect!  It would go great with any dry white wine or a light red like a Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.

Basil-Tomato-Red-Lentil-Soup  Recipe: 6 – 8 servings

  • 1 3/4 Cup Dried Red Lentils
  • 8 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 1/2 Cups (half recipe) Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce (make the whole recipe and enjoy on pasta or quinoa)
  • 2 Large Tomatoes – diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Hot Paprika (or mild)
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper – or to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil – minced (extra for garnish)

Instructions:

In a large soup pot add red lentils, rinse thoroughly and strain.  Add lentils back to the pot and add water, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium for 20 – 25 minutes.  Scoop off the starchy foam.

While lentils are cooking make Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce (you can make it a day ahead)

When lentils are soft add tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper.

When the sauce is finished cooking add to lentils along with basil and cook for 5 – 10 more minutes to incorporate flavors.

Basil-and-Tomato-Red-Lentil-Soup

Health benefits:

Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber 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.  They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K.  They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth.

Red Lentil Cilantro Coconut Soup

This is a flavorful soup with some serious spice.  

Red-Lentil-Cilantro-Coconut-Soup--

My mom came to visit Robby and I for my birthday.  It was a bit overcast so I made this soup to warm us up.  I like to have an extra soup or salad available when guest come to stay.  I love red lentils.  They are so quick and easy to make and they lend a great flavor and texture to any soup.  Not to mention, they are cheep and so very good for you!

Red-Lentil-Cilantro-and-Coconut-Soup-

Enjoy a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rioja or a Borolo.

Red-Lentil-and-Cilantro-Coconut-Soup-

Recipe: 8 – 10 Servings

  • 4 Cups Red Lentils
  • 12 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1/2 White Onion – diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeño Pepper – sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 VegetableBouillon Cube (unsalted)
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 4 Cups Cilantro
  • 2 Cans Coconut Milk (full fat)
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Tamari
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Ginger Root – grated or microplaned
  • 2 Tablespoons Homemade Curry Powder or Simply Organic Curry
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Lemon Grass
  • 2 Teaspoons Tumeric Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1Tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

* Garnish with thinly sliced green onion and cilantro leaves

Instructions:

Measure, sort and rinse lentils until water runs clear.  In a large soup pot; add lentils and water, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Skim off the starch and cook until lentils are soft.  (about 15 minutes)

In a 5 1/2 quart pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic, stirring often, cook until soft and garlic begins to brown.  Add bullion cube, jalapeño slices and wine, reduce until syrupy.

Add coconut milk, cilantro, lime juice, tamari, ginger and all the spices to the 5 1/2 quart pot along with half of the lentils.

Let simmer for 10 minutes then puree in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth.  Pour back in to the pot and add the rest of the lentils.  Cook on medium-low heat to incorporate all the flavors.  When hot it’s ready to serve.

 *Garnish with green onion and cilantro

Health Benefits:

Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady steam 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.  They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K.  They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth.

Red Lentil Soup with Sun-Dried Tomato Arugula Pesto

This is a very comforting soup with tuns of flavor and packed full of nutrition.

_Red-Lentil-and-Sun-Dried-Tomato-Arugula-Pesto-Soup-

I use to make this soup at my restaurant with some fresh french baguette from a local baker and it was always a big hit.  I love a good red lentil soup any time of the year, it’s hearty and satisfying.  I also love the texture and all the different ways you can make it.  This soup is great as is or purred, served on its own or with some bread and maybe a salad.

Red-Lentil-Soup-with-Sun-Dried-Tomato-Arugula-Pesto

It pairs well with a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or a light Pinot Noir

Red-Lentil-Sun-Dried-Tomato-Arugula-Pesto-Soup--

Recipe: Serves 6 – 8 Servings

  • 2 Cups Red Lentils
  • 8 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Cup Sun-Dried Tomato Arugula Pesto
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion – diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 3 Tablespoons + 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Unsalted Vegetable Bouillon Cube
  • 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • A variation – add 2 diced tomatoes

Instructions:

In a soup pot add red lentils, rinse thoroughly and strain then add back to the pot and add the water to the pot, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium for 20 – 30 minutes, scoop off the starchy foam.

While the lentils are cooking make the pesto  (I often make this the day before) make sure to puree really well.  When the lentils are done, mix in the pesto and turn to low or set pesto aside until lentils are are done.

Add the onions and garlic to a saute pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat on medium-low heat.  Saute until onions are really soft and the garlic is beginning to become golden.

Add the wine and bullion cube. Smash the bullion well and saute until syrupy then add to lentils along with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt.

Add tomatoes if using.

Health Benefits: 

Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady steam 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.  They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K.  They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth.