Samosa Soup with Cilantro Mint Chutney

  I started with the ingredients of my samosa recipe and morphed it into this heartwarming samosa soup.  I topped it off with my cilantro mint chutney and created an explosion of flavors.  I like to serve it with some naan or crusty bread

I am such a sucker for soups so turning my samosa recipe into a soup just made sense!  I have a real soft spot for samosas.  My introduction to this Indian treat was at the Hari Krishna restaurant, Govindas in Culver City.  It was love at first taste.  I couldn’t get enough!  The potato filling was warm and comforting and the cilantro mint chutney that they served with them with was to die for!

Samosa-Soup

Many years ago, my mom and I traveled through Sri Lanka.  We rented a room for 3 weeks from two sisters on the beach in Unawatuna.  They cooked us some of the most amazing Sri Lankan dishes.  I decided that I would make them something special in thanks for their hospitality.  I came up with the idea to make them something they had never tried before and decided on my vegetarian lasagna.  My mom and I went with one of the sisters, Chandra, to Galle in search of the ingredients.  Of course they didn’t have lasagna noodles.  I was determined to find something close and ended up with a pasta that was the same length as lasagna noodles but were tube shaped as opposed to flat.  We then brought all the ingredients back to their home.  I cooked the pasta and arranged them out in a single layer.  I then topped them with veggies, tomatoes, green chilies, tomato sauce and cheese.  I repeated the layering a few more times and voilà, a Sri Lankan lasagna was born.  I also made some delicious garlic bread, which was also new to them.  They were pretty excited and impressed.

 The coolest part was how we had to cook the lasagna.  They had a sort of fire pit that they used to cook most of their food in.  They burned wood and dried palm leaves to control the heat.  I also thought it was cool how they cooked in these huge black clay pots.  They had about 35 to 40 in all different sizes.  They would be used for soups, curries etc.  Here is a video of how to make an authentic dal where they use these clay pots.

I had some of the most amazing food of my life in Sri Lanka.  I find it strange that the one thing I didn’t experience there was samosas.  How did I miss them?  We ate dal, rice and curry dishes, flatbreads, vegetable roti, lotus root, mango chutney etc.  My all time favorite was an insanely delicious avocado ice cream that I discovered at a tiny hole in the wall.  I don’t think I have ever had anything better than that avocado ice cream in my whole life!  The food in Sri Lanka is very colorful, spicy, comforting and multicultural.  Oh how I would love to go there again!

Samosa Soup This samosa soup is best with a white wine like a Riesling, Pinot Gris, White Rioja, Verdejo or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Samosa Soup Samosa Soup
Recipe: 10 to 12 servings
  • 2 Tablespoons Expeller Pressed Grapeseed Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 White Onion (about 3/4 Cup) – diced
  • 1 – 2 Serrano Chilis – minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Ginger – microplaned
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine – optional
  • 2 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 8 Cups Filtered Water
  • 6 Large or 3 1/2 lb Yellow Potatoes – cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 Carrot – sliced and quartered – about 3/4 cups
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro – minced
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
Cilantro Mint Chutney – click here for full recipe
  • 1 1/2 Cups Cilantro
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Mint
  • 1  Serrano Peppers (optional)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Ginger Root – microplaned
  • 2 Tablespoons Expeller Pressed Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 3 Tablespoons Filtered Water (if you like it thinner add a little more water)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to Taste

*Serve with some naan or crusty bread.

Instructions:
Soup
Add the onions to a 5 1/2 quart pot with the oil and saute on medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until they become translucent.  Next, add the garlic, ginger and serrano and continue cooking for 5 – 7 more minutes until the garlic starts to brown.

Add the white wine and cook until wine is reduced and syrupy.

Add the water, potatoes and carrots to the onions.   Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium high heat.  Measure coriander seeds, cumin seeds and mustard seeds and pulse in a coffee grinder until it becomes a powder and stir into the soup.  Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are opaque and soft.

When the potatoes and carrots are soft scoop out about 2 to 3 cups to puree then add back to the soup.  Add the peas and cook until peas are hot.  About 5 minutes.

Chutney

While the soup is cooking, add all the chutney ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until desired texture.

You can either add the chutney on top of individual bowls or stir some into the whole batch to your desired taste.

Samosa Soup Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke. They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage. Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss.

Cilantro is an extreme anti-oxidant immune-booster that helps detoxify the body by loosening them from the tissue, binding to and pulling out toxins and heavy metals.  It helps promote a healthy liver function and is an overall digestive aid.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. Cilantro can lower bad cholesterol level and increase the good cholesterol level.  It also helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar. It is rich in essential oils, vitamins and is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K and dietary fiber. It is also an excellent source of omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and calcium.

Mint activates the salivary glands just by the aroma alone, which helps promote digestion. It relaxing the muscular lining of the digestive tract and improves the flow of bile through the stomach and soothes the stomach, indigestion, inflammation, abdominal pain, nausea and discomfort associated with IBS. People who suffer from allergies and asthma can benefit from regular use because it is a relaxant and relieves congestion. Mint contains potent antioxidants that decrease levels of free radicals that can cause damage to cells. It is an excellent source of potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup

This Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup is bursting with flavor!  The combination of the roasted peppers and sesame is out of this world good!  The shiitake mushrooms add an earthy quality and all the herbs and vegetables give it a freshness and crunch.  And the soba noodles tie it all together.  It’s a fun and entertaining meal to enjoy with a few friends!
 *
 While making this soup I started to think about the kitchen gadgets I adore and use all the time.  Seriously, I couldn’t live without my Cuisinart food processor which I use almost daily or my 600 watt All clad immersion blender.  I love my immersion blender because it is stainless steel, has turbo action with adjustable settings and did I mention it’s 600 watts?  Most are only 200 watts.  Last but not least, my beautiful 5 1/2 quart green enamel Le Creuset Dutch oven.

Then, I started to think about what would I have in my dream kitchen.  There are a few things that I would love to have but most of all, I would love a high quality 6-burner gas range.  I’m in love with so many from BlueStar, like this one or this one.  We currently have an electric range, which I don’t want to say I hate because it’s what I have now and I am grateful but come on, who doesn’t want a gas range?  I became a little spoiled at our prior house because it had a beautiful gas range.  It was almost like I had to learn to cook all over again when we moved to our current house.  Ok, I know that’s a little dramatic, but it really is totally different.  Electric stoves take so long to heat up and when you add veggies or pasta to boiling water the water stops boiling and takes time to come back to a boil.  That doesn’t happen with a gas range so you are less likely to lose nutrients to the water while cooking.  A range with open burners is awesome because there are no hotspots on your pans which happens to me all the time and I am constantly having to turn my pans.  What would you like in your dream kitchen?

*This is not a paid advertisement and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Roasted-Red-Pepper-Sesame-Soba-Noodle-Soup

I enjoyed this soup with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc but it would also go great with a Riesling, Pinot Gris or a nice Sake.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sesame Soba Noodle Soup
Recipe: 2 to 4 servings
Broth
  •  4 Red Bell Peppers – roasted – pureed
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1/2 Cup + 3 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Rice Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Tamari Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ginger – peeled – microplaned
  • 1 – 2 Serrano Chilis – optional
Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Shallots – about 1 tablespoon – minced
  • 1 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 2 Cups Shiitake – thinly sliced
 The Rest – You can add or subtract any vegetable you want.
  • 1 Cup Basil – whole or roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro – whole or roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Green Onion – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Red Cabbage – minced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – cut into thin strips
  • Scallion Micro Sprouts – or your choice
  • Black Sesame Seeds
  • Lime Wedges
  • 1 Package Soba Noodles
 Other garnish ideas
  • Radish
  • Carrots
  • Avocado
Instructions
 Roasted pepper sesame sauce
 Roast peppers on the stovetop at medium high heat.  A gas stove is best but it will also work on electric.

Char peppers on all sides turning with tongs.  When good and charred, steam for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut so the steam won’t escape.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.  Cut the peppers into smaller pieces and mix with toasted sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, tamari sauce, sea salt, Serrano chilis and ginger and puree with an immersion blender or a food processor. Set aside.

Add the onions to a large pot or Dutch oven 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 cook until wine is reduced and syrupy.  Add the sauce to the onions and blend with an immersion blender or dump everything in batches into a food processor and puree all together.  Set aside

Broth – Mushrooms
 Wash and cut the stems off the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.

Put the 4 cups of water and mushroom stems in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

While stem broth is cooking, thinly slice mushroom tops and set aside in a bowl.

When stem broth is done, remove from heat and strain into red pepper sauce.  Discard stems. Set aside until you start the noodles.

Next mince shallots, add to a sauté pan on medium heat, saute with 2 tablespoon of sesame oil until soft and golden.  Make sure to stir frequently.  (about 6 – 8 minutes)

Add mushrooms and sprinkle lightly with salt, stir until moisture is gone. (about 15 to 20 minutes) Make sure to stir

Add the minced garlic to the mushrooms in about 10 minutes after mushrooms are halfway cooked.

Veggies

While mushrooms are cooking prep the green onions, cabbage, bell pepper, basil, cilantro.

Noodles and Serving
 Heat up the red pepper broth on medium heat and cook the soba noodle according to package instructions.  Place the noodles into 4 bowls top with veggies of your choice and with the red pepper broth.
Serve with cilantro, basil, sesame seeds and a lime wedge.
*
Health Benefits:

Red 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.

Yellow Split Pea Basil Soup with Roasted Peppers

The red, yellow and green colors in this Yellow Split Pea Basil Soup are so gorgeous.  The flavor is also phenomenal with the roasted peppers, basil and pecorino cheese.  Seriously guys, it’s delicious!  Serve it with your favorite crusty bread!

If you have never tried yellow split peas before, do yourself a favor and try them.  They are much more mild than the green variety.  Unlike the green variety, they continue to be bright and cheerful after cooking.

Yellow Split Pea Basil Soup

Robby and I had a great time this weekend.  Our friends Beto, Jill, Paloma and baby Severin stayed over Saturday night.  Erin, Leif and Taj came over to join us all for a taco dinner.  Erin made an incredibly delicious chocolate basil tart with a grapefruit jam to go on top.  It was a fun night full of food, wine, laughter and nonstop talking as it always is with this group.

On Sunday, we had a beach picnic, which is always a great time with Paloma!  Paloma insisted on becoming a mermaid, so Beto made her a mermaid tail out of sand while Robby made a barricade of seaweed so Paloma wouldn’t get washed away.  They decorated it with seaweed, shells and sand crab shells.  She loved it!

Yellow-Split-Pea-Basil-Soup-with-Roasted-Red-Peppers

I was just on Thalia’s blog “Butter and Brioche” (if you haven’t been to her blog, check it out!) and she just posted an incredible Tiramisu ice cream dessert.  I thought it was ironic because she is posting a cold ice cream dessert in the middle of the Australian winter while I’m posting a hot soup recipe in the middle of summer in California.  It just goes to show that you can eat whatever you want regardless of the weather!

Yellow-Split-Pea-Basil-Soup-with-Roasted-Peppers

This soup is perfect with a nice cold glass of Verdejo!  Or a crisp white wine of your choice.

Roasted-Pepper-Yellow-Split-Pea-Soup

Yellow Split Pea Basil Soup Recipe:

8 – 10 servings

  • 1/2 White Onion – diced
  • 2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Unsalted Vegetable Bouillon Cubes
  • 10 Cups Filtered Water
  • 2 Cups Dried Yellow Split Peas
  • 2 (about 1 1/4 cup) Red Bell Peppers – roasted – diced
  • 2 (about 1 1/4 cup) Yellow Bell Peppers – roasted – diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese – finely shredded – packed
  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil – packed – minced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh or Frozen Corn
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions:

Add the onions to a saute pan with 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.

Then add the white wine and bouillon cubes, cook until wine is reduced and syrupy.

Add the 10 cups of filtered water to the onions.  Measure and sort thru the peas to ensure that there are no rocks. Rinse them in a colander and add them to the onions.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until peas are super soft.

 While the peas are cooking, roast the peppers and then put them into a covered dish to steam for 10 minutes.  Remove the stem and seeds and then dice the peppers.  Add them to the peas when completely cooked.

Add the paprika, lemon juice, cheese, basil and corn to the soup.

Or puree the soup, then add the peppers and corn to the soup.

Garnish with basil.

Yellow-Split-Pea-Basil-Soup-with-Roasted-Yellow-and-Red-Peppers

Health benefits:

 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.

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zea-xanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.

White Bean Potato Leek Soup with Fresh Peas and Spring Onion Pesto

This is a hearty and flavorful White Bean Potato Leek Soup.  Who doesn’t like peas with potatoes?  They are a perfect match!  The spring onion pesto adds a whole other dimension of flavor to this soup.

White Bean Potato Leek Soup

It may be summer, but it is June gloom here in Northern California and this soup is perfect for this weather.  Robby prefers this soup chunky and I can’t decide which way I like it, chunky or pureed.  So, I split the batch and purred half.  It’s kind of like having two different soups.  Robby also prefers his without the pesto and I love it with it.  As you can see this is a very versatile soup.  How would you serve it?

White-Bean-Potato-Leek-Soup-with-Spring-Onion-Pesto-and-Peas

This soup is great with a Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc or Rose.

White-Bean-Potato-Leek-Soup-with-Green-Onion-Pesto-and-Peas

White Bean Potato Leek Soup Recipe:

6 – 12 servings = 12 cups

Soup

  • 2 Cups White Beans
  • 12 Cups + 10 reserved Cups Filtered Water – or as needed
  • 2 Pounds Yellow Potatoes – diced
  • 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Onion – diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 2 Large Leeks – cleaned, quartered and sliced (about 4 cups sliced)
  • 1/4 Dry White Wine
  • 2 Vegetable Bouillon Cubes – unsalted
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas – about 1 tablespoons per one cup – or to taste
 Pesto (optional)
  • 1 1/2  Cups Spring Onion Greens or Green Onions
  • 1/4 Cup Asiago Cheese – finely grated
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Almonds
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste

Instructions:

1.  Sort through the beans to remove any rocks and rinse.  Add the beans to a large pot and add 12 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and turn to medium-high heat for 1 hour.

2.  While beans are cooking, dice the potatoes into ½ inch cubes; add to a bowl covered with water.  Set aside.

3.  Dice the onion and mince the garlic.  Add the onion to a large Dutch oven or a large 5-quart pot. Turn heat to medium-low and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes more or until onions are soft and garlic just starts to become lightly golden.

4.  Once the garlic becomes golden, add bouillon cubes and wine to the onions.   Mash the bouillon to dissolve then add the leeks and stir often until the leeks just soften (about 5 minutes). Add a tablespoon of water and the remaining two tablespoons of oil to deglaze.  Turn the heat off the leeks.

5.  Make the pesto.  Cut off the green tops of the spring onions, wash, dry and chop the green leaves into one inch pieces then add to a food processor or blender.  Add all the remaining ingredients and puree.  If you want it really smooth I often use an immersion blender after I use the food processor.

6.  After the beans start to soften (but not totally cooked) pour the beans and the bean water into the leek mix.  Add the potatoes, thyme and 8 more cups of water.  Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and cook until beans and potatoes are completely cooked. (about an hour – depends the age of the beans)

7.  Meanwhile,  remove peas from their pods (if using fresh peas), measure and put into a pot of filtered water.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and leave in the water for 1 minute.  (use a timer)  Drain in a colander and rinse with filtered water.  Set aside.

8.  When the beans are done, add the vinegar, salt and pepper to the soup.

*You can either leave the soup chunky or puree with an immersion blender, blender or food processor.  Stir in the remaining 2 cups of water after pureeing.

Top with pesto and peas.

White-Bean-Potato-Leek-Soup-with-Peas-and-Spring-Onion-Pesto

Health benefits:

Leeks allicin content reduces cholesterol production, blood pressure, blood vessel stiffness and protects the lining. Leeks help chronic low-level inflammations like in diabetes, obesity and rheumatoid arthritis. They contain polyphenols that are known to be strong antioxidants that fight against free radicals, which help with chronic disease and aging. They are a good sources of vitamin-A, C and K.

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold’s content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke. They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage. Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss.

White Beans are a super source of dietary fiber, which is good for the prevention of constipation, also helps digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. They are great for heart health because of their significant amounts of folate (support of red blood cell formation, one cup of the cooked beans provides 63.7% of the recommended daily intake for folate) and magnesium (lowers blood pressure). They are good for helping insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, and help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady energy.

*Health Sources

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.