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 Poblano Cilantro White Bean Soup

This is a very flavorful and comforting soup!  The roasted poblano peppers add such a depth of flavor, the jalapeño adds just a touch of heat and the roasted poblano cilantro salsa puts it over the top.  It is perfect with some blue corn chips or some crunchy crostinis.

Roasted-Poblano-White-Bean-Soup

This isn’t exactly a spring soup but it’s so dang good, I had to share it with you!  I have no problem eating soup year round no matter what the weather.

I made a pretty big batch of the Roasted Poblano Cilantro Salsa and I thought it would be perfect with white beans!  I absolutely love this soup!

Roasted-Poblano-Cilantro-White-Bean-Soup

It’s crazy planning a wedding and all the festivities that are involved.  You plan, plan, plan, and before you know it you are partaking in these plans and then it’s over.  It becomes a blur!  There were so many friends that I hadn’t seen in years, it was a bit overwhelming and it was hard to say goodbye!  Luckily Robby had four weeks off work to start our new life together as a married couple.  We are waiting to take a honeymoon but I am super excited because we are going to spend a few days on the Russian River.  My mom use to live in Sebastopol and she had a good friend that lived on the river.  I loved it there and I am very excited to go back after so many years.  Erin from The Forest Feast had posted about a trip to the Russian River and I thought I have to go back there.  She also talked about a restaurant she liked in Guerneville callled “Boon eat + drink” and she said the mac n cheese was really good.  We are definitely going to check it out because I am a mac n cheese freak!  I can’t wait!

_Poblano-Cilantro-White-Bean-Soup

This soup is perfect with a cold beer!  I also enjoy it with a glass of white Rioja or a Sauvignon Blanc.

_White-Bean-Soup

Recipe: 8 – 10 Servings

  • 12 Cups Filtered Water plus 2 Cups
  • 2 1/2 Cups Dried White Beans
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – whole or minced
  • 1 Recipe Roasted Poblano Cilantro Salsa
  • 2 Poblano Peppers – roasted
  • 1 Jalapeño or Serrano Pepper – minced
  • 2 Cups Shredded Jack Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Rice Flour (or regular all-purpose)
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Unsalted Vegetable Bouillon Cube
  • 2 Cups Milk – (I used 1 %)
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper or to taste

Garnish options:

  • Diced roasted poblano
  • Blue corn chips

Instructions:

Sort through the beans to remove any rocks and rinse.  Add the beans to a 4 0r 5 1/2 quart pot, then add 12 cups of water and the garlic.  Bring to a boil, then turn to medium-high heat for about 1 to 1 and a 1/2 hours or until soft.

 Roast the all of the poblanos at the same time, 2 for the soup and 2 for the salsa.

Remove the stems and seeds from the poblanos, dice 2 poblanos into small cubes and set aside until the beans are cooked.

While beans are cooking, make the Roasted Poblano Cilantro Salsa.  Add the jalapeño or serrano pepper from the soup recipe to the salsa.  (this saves the step of mincing it).  Cut the stem off, and either cut into one inch pieces or slice in half to remove seeds. (most of the heat is in the seeds)

Shred the cheese and set aside.

When the beans are soft, add the extra 2 cups of water and turn down to a low heat and add the salsa, diced poblano, olive oil, salt and pepper.

 Melt the butter on medium heat in a sauce pan, then add the flour and stir for about a minute.  Add the wine and bouillon and stir together into a paste.  Slowly whisk in a little milk and mix in well.  Bring milk to a boil and turn heat to medium-low and slowly add the cheese a little at a time.  When completely melted add to the soup.

Cilantro-Roasted-Poblano-White-Bean-Soup

Health benefits:

White Beans are a super rich 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.

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value. They are great for your immune system; poblanos help reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma. They contain lycopene (a powerful antioxidant, giving many fruits and vegetables their color, especially tomatoes), which is great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas. They are also helpful with increasing oxygen so the body can burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.

Roasted Potato Tomatillo Pureed Soup with Cilantro Pesto and Chili Oil

Omg, this soup is insane! It’s an awesome soup just as it is, but if you take the time to make the cilantro pesto, chili oil and roasted poblano, you will be in soup heaven!

Roasted-Potato-Soup copy

The last few days have been a lot of fun because I had the privilege to hang out with our goddaughter Sabastian.  She is moving from Arizona to Oregon to live with a friend and stopped by on her way for a few days.  She is always a pleasure to have around.  We had a nice lunch in Los Gatos, went for a couple of walks on the beach, made yummy food and cruised around the farmers market while she grazed on all the samples.

Roasted-Potato-Tomatillo-Soup

While at the farmers market I picked up everything I needed to make this soup as well as the cilantro pesto, chili oil and poblano chilis.

The chili oil is so great for adding a little heat to soups, salads, stir frys, etc…  I usually make the tomatillo salsa, pesto, chili oil and roast the poblano the day before I plan to make the soup.

Creamy-Roasted-Potato-Soup copy

I love this soup with a dry crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay or a nice Spanish white.  It is also great with a Pinot Noir or a Tempranillo.

Potato-Soup

Recipe: 10 – 12 servings

Roasted Potatoes

  • 6 Yukon Gold Potatoes ( about 2 lb)
  • 2 Tablespoon Thai Chili Olive Oil – or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry White Wine
  • 2 Clove Garlic – minced
  • 1- 2 Jalapeno – sliced

Roasted Tomatillo Mandarin Salsa (this is a half batch of the original recipe.  You can make a whole batch and use the other half for these chili renellos.)

  • 6 – 7 Tomatillos – 3/4 lb.
  • 1/4 White Onion
  • 1 Serrano Chili Peppers
  • 1/2  Cup Cilantro
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Mandarin (Satsuma) Juice –  fresh squeezed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Mandarin Zest (optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

The rest

  • 8 oz or 2 1/4 Cups Jack Cheese – shredded
  • 1/2 Onion – 1 1/4 Cup – Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Oil or Regular Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Cup Milk (I used 1%)
  • 6 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Garnish (make ahead)

Instructions:

Tomatillo Salsa

Peel the paper skin off of the tomatillos, cut the cores out and cut in half, then spread them out on a baking sheet cut side down.

Turn on the broiler and broil tomatillos for 6 – 7 minutes then flip over for another 3 – 4 minutes or until very soft and slightly burnt.

Add the onion to a pot of water and bring to a boil, then remove, let cool and put in a food processor.

When tomatillos are finished cooking, let coo and add to food processor.

Cut the stems off the serrano then de-seed and add to the food processor along with the cilantro, garlic, lime, and salt.  Puree.

Potatoes

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees

Dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.  Put the potatoes into a 9 by 14 Pyrex baking dish and add the oil, garlic and salt.  Mix together to coat all the potatoes evenly.

Cover with foil and place into the oven on the middle rack for 45 minutes.  Turn the oven to broil, take the foil off and place the potatoes on the top rack and broil for  7- 10 minutes or until they start to brown.  Make sure to keep an eye on them.  Remove from oven and let cool.

The rest

Shred the cheese and set aside.

Dice the onion and add to a 5 1/2 quart soup pot along with the oil and saute on medium-low heat until onions are soft and translucent.  Add the wine and reduce to a syrup.  Add the tomatillo salsa, milk, lime juice, salt and pepper.

In a food processor add half the potatoes and about 2 cups of the water and puree then add to the soup.  Repeat with the remaining potatoes and 2 more cups of water.  Then add the final 2 cups of water to the soup (total of 6 cups of water).  Stir and cook until hot, then slowly add the cheese and cook until the cheese is completely melted.

Serve it with diced roasted poblano, drizzled with chili oil,  sprinkled with blue corn chips and topped with a dollop of cilantro pesto.

Creamy-Potato Tomatillo Soup

Health benefits:

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.

Tomatillos have been found to have anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties from the Ixocarpalactone-A, a phyto-chemical.  They contain niacin, which helps convert food into energy. They are a rich source of vitamin C and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants, vitamin K  that increases bone mass, potassium that helps electrolyte regulation, nerve function, muscle control, and blood pressure, folate that supports red blood cell formation and fiber.  They are without sugars, low in salt and cholesterol-free.

Creamy Feta Potato and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Imagine yourself curled up on a couch in front of a fireplace with a bowl of this seriously comforting soup! The blend of potato and butternut squash is a heavenly combination and the feta adds just the right amount of cheesy richness.

Butternut-Feta-Soup

I literally threw this soup together.  Don’t you just love it when you think you have nothing to eat and you rummage through your refrigerator and pantry and come up with something spectacular?  This soup was just that!  I had left over butternut squash from my “Potato Butternut Squash Au Gratin with Sage Pesto“, a couple potatoes and some feta.  Voila, a new soup was born.

Creamy-Feta-Butternut-Squash-Potato-Soup

Enjoy this with a glass of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, white Rioja, Pinot Gris or a Tempranillo or Pinot Noir.

_Feta-Butternut-Squash-Potato-Soup

Recipe: 6 – 8 Servings

  • 1 1/2 Pounds Yellow Potatoes  (about 5 cups)
  • 1 Pound Butternut Squash (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 White Onion – diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Dry Red Wine (or white)
  • 1 Vegetable Bullion Cube – unsalted
  • 1 Cup Sheep Feta
  • 2 Cup Filtered Water
  • 2 Cup Milk – (I used 1 %)
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 Teaspoons Paprika
  • 2 3/4 Teaspoons Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper – or to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayanne Pepper (optional)

Instructions:

Dice the potatoes into small cubes, put into a pot covered with water, bring to a boil and continue boiling until potatoes are soft enough for a fork to go in.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Peel the squash, then de-seed and dice into 1 inch cubes.  Drizzle squash with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. With your hands toss the squash to coat with oil evenly.  Bake on middle rack for 30 – 40 minutes or until slightly brown on the edges.

Dice the onion, mince the garlic and add to a 3 or 4 quart soup pot or dutch oven along with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Saute on medium heat for about 10 – 15 minutes or until garlic is slightly golden.  Add the wine and bullion.  Mash the bullion to desolve and cook until wine is syrupy.

In a food processor, add the onions and puree; then add potatoes and slowly add in 1 cup water.  Pour back into pot.

Next add the squash, feta and 1 cup water to the processor and puree, add to potatoes.

Stir in the milk, lemon juice and spices.
Cook until desired hotness.
Health benefits:

Butternut Squash is a great source of fiber and folate making it heart and bowel healthy it has an abundance of carotenoids that is great for eye health and also helps protect against heart disease and very high levels of beta-carotene.  It regulates blood sugar levels helping to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and increasing energy levels.  It has a significant amounts of potassium and vitamin B6 which is great for the nervous and immune systems.  A 1-cup serving gives about half the recommended amount of antioxidant-rich vitamin C.  Winter squash also helps in the prevention of prostate, colon, lung & breast cancers.

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.

Creamy Multi Roasted Pepper Soup

This is a very spicy yet comforting soup full of peppery goodness!  The combination of different peppers gives this soup a unique quality not found in a plain roasted red pepper soup.

Multi-Roasted-Pepper-Soup

It has been dumping rain the last few days and I can’t seem to get spicy roasted pepper soups off my mind.  So I made a big batch of this soup, which I’ll have no problem eating all week long.

Creamy-Multi-Roasted-Pepper-Soup

Try this soup with a crisp dry white wine like a Spanish Versejo, White Rioja or Cava.

Creamy-Roasted-Pepper-Soup

Recipe: 4 – 6 servings

*you can use any peppers you want really!  If you don’t want it hot, omit the Hungarian wax, serrano and jalapeños.  Replace with 2 poblano or bell peppers.

  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 2 Orange Bell Peppers
  • 3 Poblano Peppers
  • 10 Mini Bell Peppers (can sub 1 or 2 yellow bell peppers)
  • 3 Padron Peppers
  • 3 Hungarian Wax Peppers
  • 4 Red or Green Serrano Peppers
  • 2 Jalapeño Peppers
  • 1/2 White Onion – diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Container Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1 Cup Half and Half
  • 2 Cups Filtered Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt – or to taste

*Garnish with diced roasted poblano

Instructions:

Roast all the peppers, remove stem, seeds and skin.

Add onion, garlic and olive oil to a sauté pan on medium-low heat and cook until onions are soft and garlic just starts to brown.

Puree peppers, onions and mascarpone in two or three batches and pour into a soup pot along with half and half, water and salt.

Cook on medium-low until hot.

Multi-Pepper-Soup

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.

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma. They contain lycopene a powerful antioxidant, giving many fruits and vegetables their color, especially tomatoes, which is great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas. They are also helpful with increasing oxygen so the body can burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They’re also full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.