Root Remix

April 20, 2008 at 6:40 pm 8 comments

Red lentils

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. 

Roasted roots leftovers

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.  

One red lentil

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. 

cooked lentils Pureed lentils

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. 

(serves 6)

Roasted Root and Red Lentil Soup



Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: , , , .

Root Source? Celebrate!

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gintoino  |  April 21, 2008 at 6:17 am

    jennie that soup looks delicious!. I onle have a problem (that you seem to have too) where am i going to get the burdock root to do it? Do you think it will be ok just with the potatoes and sunchokes?
    I’m so glad to read you have started your garden, I can’t wait to ear(read) more about it! Here I’m collecting the last of the broad beans, strawberries and letucces. I sowed parsnips yesterday (a good blogging friend sent me seeds from Holand), I hope they sprout.
    (BTW…Amelie is my favourite too :-))

  • 2. fallenangel65  |  April 21, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I love lentils as well. I agree, there is something so pleasing about their shape, like confetti or those lovely pastel sprinkles that are shaken over frosted cupcakes.

    I love the red ones especially for their quick cooking time and that with the right seasonings, you can make a creaming, filling soup/porridge in no time at all.

    This sounds wonderful and as you have me wanting to try all the root veggies I have ignored thus far in my life – this will be on the agenda for the weekend.

    I am really looking forward to when you can harvest your easter egg radishes – never heard of them and can’t wait to see them. Are you going to do heirloom tomatoes or any of the varieties of beets?

  • 3. Joselle Palacios  |  April 21, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    That looks delicious! I too am a fan of red lentils. I made the red lentil and sweet potato chili from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan a few times this winter and it always perfectly hit the spot.

  • 4. Jennie  |  April 22, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Gintoino – Thanks! Yes, definitely can make the soup with just sunchokes and potatoes. I am so jealous of all that you are harvesting from your garden already. I’m a little behind here but am making progress. A post on my garden should be up tomorrow. A seed exchange between blogging friends from other countries…. I like that idea! Maybe I”ll have to organize something. 🙂
    Isn’t Amelie such a wonderful movie?? Sigh….

  • 5. Jennie  |  April 22, 2008 at 11:05 am

    FallenAngel – I couldn’t have said it better myself (You have such a way with recapping my main messages in posts. 🙂 ) The easter egg radishes should be ready in about a month, but I’ve already got a picture/post up here about the ones I got while working at Weavers Way Farm last season. It’s an early post so forgive the pictures/writing. 😉 Check it out:

  • 6. Jennie  |  April 22, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Joselle – I’ll have to check out that recipe…sounds delish! 🙂

  • 7. diva  |  April 23, 2008 at 3:13 am

    lentils are amazing.and rosemary always works so well in soups. like yours!

  • 8. greensgal  |  April 23, 2008 at 7:17 am

    what a lovely soup! I can’t wait to try it – there are still plenty of root vegetables around and this does seem like a fine way to end the season. thanks!


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