This Lentil Soup recipe is the ultimate feel-good soup and is packed with homemade roasted red peppers, carrots, onions and Sriracha for a little kick!
It’s hard to believe it, but we’ve only been living in Des Moines for a little more than two months now.
Last weekend, we headed to Minneapolis for the first time since we moved back in November 2015. Mr. Making Life Sweet had job training from Monday-Friday, with a holiday work party as the bookend of a long week on Friday night. I joined him on Thursday because I had my first consultation with a jaw surgeon regarding next steps/options for my degenerated jaws. I thought it would be awkward returning to the city that truly was our first love, our first home, our first community of adult life. But for whatever reason, it was the opposite of weird. Instead of feeling remorseful or lamenting over no longer living in MPLS, we spent our first trip back reminiscing, relaxing and relishing in the wonders of the city.
We ate at our favorite restaurants, shopped at our favorite malls, visited a few of our favorite spots … but most importantly, I got to see a few of my most precious friends, including the lovely Stephanie of Girl Versus Dough. We met at one of the city’s best cafes, French Meadow, and talked about life, love, loss, fears, adventure, hopes, dreams and plans over omelettes and lattes. Like many of the meet-ups I had with friends during our first trip back, I was so thankful for the time we could spend together. Moving away is difficult, but it makes friendships even more treasured.
One of the things I miss about living in a city full of friends is having people over for dinner all the time. Since we’ve lived in Des Moines, we’ve had people over twice. This is something I hope and have faith will change as the weather gets warmer and we start to meet more people. You can take a community and a house away from a hostess, but that doesn’t make her any less of one! At my core I love to serve others, and being a hostess and sharing food is one of my favorite things to do.
I made this Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup the other week for a friend I met in a local spin class. She also recently moved to Des Moines from Minneapolis, and we enjoyed talking about our experiences and hopes for the year ahead.
I love this soup because it’s delicate and filling all at the same time. Bonus: It comes together without a whole lot of fuss. Once you get past the roasted red pepper steps, it’s totally a one-pot meal. Another thing that’s great about this lentil soup is it’s versatility with serving. You can serve it with almost anything: pita, beef, spicy tofu, salad, roasted veggies, falafel, crostini, chips and hummus, chicken — the opportunities are endless! Of course you can always eat two bowls by itself for a complete meal, which is just as tasty. This soup doesn’t need anything extra to be delicious and satisfying. It just is. You can find the recipe I made by clicking here to see it on the Snap Fitness blog, or scroll below for a printable version.
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
- ¼ cup coconut or olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha (depending on your heat preference)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450˚ F. Drizzle red bell pepper halves with half the coconut oil and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Let roast about 30 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them twice during roasting.
- Remove sheet from the oven, place red peppers in a bowl and cover with aluminum foil to steam for about 10 minutes. This will help loosen the skin from the flash of the pepper. After 10 minutes, peel peppers with your fingers (the skin should slide right off), discard skin and set aside.
- While peppers are roasting, heat remaining coconut oil in a large stockpot over medium heat until it shimmers. Add chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika and thyme and cook until fragrant while stirring, about 30 seconds.
- Pour in lentils, broth, water, salt, pepper, Sriracha and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Partially cover the pot and let cook for 20-25 minutes, or until lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- Transfer 2 cups of soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Pour puréed soup back into pot and stir until mixture is combined. Add roasted red peppers and cook over medium until soup is heated throughout. Remove pot from heat and season with more salt and pepper to taste.