How do you deal with a crummy weather forecast?
This is a version of my mom’s 30-minute soup recipe that she found in a grocery store magazine a while back. It literally takes half an hour to make so is a popular meal in our house. And my kids love it.
I’m a fan of soup, especially thick and hearty concoctions. They’re warming and filling and that’s important when a snow bomb is headed your way.
Tomato-based soups are my favourite but the acidity of canned tomatoes can often use a little taming. That’s where the molasses comes in. It takes the edge off and adds great complexity and flavour. It’s a sweet with oomph.
This is the kind of soup that you can make your own. Cook the base (which is delicious on its own, by the way) and then add a few more ingredients depending on your mood. Sometimes I go the Mexican route and sometimes I’m more in the mood for Moroccan flavours.
If you prefer a thinner soup play with the amount of broth to get the consistency that works for you. Or add extra tomatoes. This is soup afterall. Very forgiving.
Mom’s Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup Recipe
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1 can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes or jar of strained tomatoes
- 2-4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 jar of roasted red peppers, rinsed and finely diced (about 1 ½ cups worth)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup dried red lentils
- ½ Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- Sea salt to taste
- Squeeze of lemon
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans
- 2 generous handfuls of baby spinach
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley
- ½ Tbsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn
- Handful of chopped cilantro
- In a large pot over medium heat saute the onion in the oil until just starting to brown.
- Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, broth, and bay leaf.
- Stir and bring to a gentle boil.
- Add the red peppers and the lentils and bring to the boil again. Stir often.
- Once the lentils are cooked add the molasses and oregano.
- Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon.
- Eat as is or add the Moroccan extras or the Mexican.
- Heat just until additional ingredients are warmed through.
- Serve immediately.
Saute the onions just until they start to brown. Crushed red pepper adds a nice heat to the base. The core seasonings, paprika, molasses and fresh cilantro, add great depth to the flavour.
Navy beans are my favourite addition to this soup. Soak and cook your own for better flavour and texture. (Extras can be frozen so you have them on hand whenever you need them).
One more thing…
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