This soup is creamy, delicious, and also happens to be my favorite color. When we think about eating more vegetables, we usually turn towards greens – broccoli, kale, spinach, green beans, and others. Greens are wonderful for you, but a combination of different colored vegetables is optimal for your health. Unfortunately, mutli-colored vegetable soups usually end up a strange brown color, so I've chosen red as the theme for this soup.
It has three red ingredients – red bell peppers, red onions, and red lentils – for an amazing amount of antioxidants, plus protein and fiber to fill you up and improve your health! Plus, with a little spice from red chili flakes it will warm you from the inside out on a cool winter evening.
Red pepper for you
Bell peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin C and carotenoids; ripe red bell peppers have the highest levels of these nutrients. Most green bell peppers are simply unripe red peppers – if left outside refrigeration they will continue to ripen and gain nutrients. Choose organic bell peppers to avoid pesticide contamination.
Red pepper for people
Peppers grown in abundance during the warm months here in the mid-Atlantic, but what about the winter? Unless you’ve preserved your fall harvest, you’ll need to seek out Fair Trade produce to ensure farmers are benefiting from your purchase. Encourage your local grocery store to stock produce that improves the lives of farmers around the world.
Red pepper for the planet
Peppers are adapted to a wide variety of climates and can be grown around the world. They grow well in pots, so planting your own in a small garden or even on a balcony is a great way to enjoy fresh peppers throughout the growing season. Seek out locally-grown peppers for most of the year to reduce the carbon footprint required for national or international transport.
Read on for the recipe.
My favorite color soup
1 tablespoon olive oil 2 red bell peppers, chopped 1 red onion, chopped 1 cup red lentils, rinsed 3-4 cups vegetable broth 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 bay leaf salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium in a soup pot.
Add the red bell pepper and onion and cook for 5 minutes, until beginning to soften.
Add lentils, 3 cups vegetable broth, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Remove the bay leaf and blend the soup with an immersion or standard blender until smooth. Add additional vegetable broth to thin out the soup as needed.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy with an additional sprinkle of red pepper flakes.