I entered this photo in the Click! Photo Event: Beans’n Lentils
You might have noticed that I haven’t been very, um, active in the kitchen lately. I’ve already explained that in part a few posts back. But I didn’t realize just how much having dirt under my nails every day now would divert my attention. I gotta scrub for a good fifteen minutes before anyone would be wanting me in the kitchen!
But I’m not complaining. Nope. I’m lovin’ the ride so far. I broke ground on my garden plot this week, something I’m absolutely dying to tell to you about, but I haven’t got the photos I want just yet to put up that post. I keep changing my plot layout, and I want to get that solidified first. I will tell you about what I’m planting first (tomorrow, in fact). I’ve got an antique lettuce mix, sugar snap peas, “easter egg” radishes, and sorrel. I’ll be direct seeding all of those considering the current hot streak here in the Northeast. These cool weather crops are going to need to get started as fast as possible if they’re going to have a productive spring before the real heat wave hits.
But this is a recipe post, not at garden post. So, I did get in the kitchen on an evening this past week, one of the evenings I didn’t have a class, a meeting, or a lecture to attend (there seems to be one almost every night now), but I didn’t quite have the energy to start from square one. What to do…what to do? I spied the leftover roasted roots in the fridge, looking a little worse for the wear (certainly lacking any “crispy” factor), and got the notion to make a quick soup with them.
I’m a sucker for lentils in soup. And I’m an even bigger sucker for how pretty uncooked red lentils are (if only they stayed so pretty after boiling). I know they’re rather unassuming, but I’m still drawn in by their perfect circular shape and the feel of them running through my fingers. I thought I was a bit of an oddball until I saw Amelie, my favorite movie of all time, and the scene at the grocers where she takes pleasure in running her hands through sacks of legumes.
Since red lentils cook so quickly, they seemed a good match for my roasted root soup idea. So there were lentils and there were roasted roots, but quite frankly, the rest of it is a bit fuzzy. I’ll do my best to recap in a recipe that will let you recreate this silky smokey soup. The pureed red lentils make this soup thick and filling. If you don’t have the exact same mix of roasted roots, you can still make the soup with only roasted potatoes.
So here goes with the “recipe”… if anyone notices anything terribly amiss, feel free to point it out.
Roasted Root and Red Lentil Soup
A Straight from the Farm Original
1 c. red lentils (uncooked)
4 c. vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 c. roasted roots
1 c. frozen peas
1 t. finely minced fresh rosemary
1 c. light cream
salt and pepper
Sort out any bad ones and rinse the lentils in a change of water. Bring the vegetable broth up to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the lentils and the bay leaf. Boil for a minute or two before reducing the heat to low and simmering for 20 minutes, or until tender.
Add half of the roasted roots to the lentils, stirring to heat for a minute or so. Remove saucepan from stove. Using an immersion or stand blender, blend lentil mixture until smooth. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper and give the blender another whirl.
Return lentil mixture to the saucepan/stove and add the rest of the roasted roots, the rosemary, and the peas. Cook until everything is heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and slowly add the cream, constantly stirring. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.