The inspiration for a meal can come from something as simple as a color. These yellow peppers echo the golden tones of the last leaves dangling from the trees these days.
Adding yellow lentils makes this soup hearty enough for dinner.
Roasted Yellow Pepper and Lentil Soup (adapted from Running with Tweezers)
2 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup yellow lentils, rinsed
3 cups chicken stock (or use vegetable stock)
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 tsp. saffron
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 tsp roasted cumin
salt and fresh cracked pepper
yogurt or sour cream for garnish
Cut the peppers in quarters, seed them and brush lightly with olive oil. Roast at 450 until slightly charred and softened, about 15 minutes.
In a soup pot heat the olive oil and butter and saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add the lentils, jalapeno, saffron, cumin, salt and pepper and broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Puree the soup until smooth in a blender, processor, or with an immersion blender. Check the seasoning, and serve with a dollop of sour cream and some crusty brown bread.
The jalapeno lends an unexpected heat to the otherwise laid back flavors.
They come in lots of colors and sizes, too, so don't settle for those gray ones that come in the huge bags by the rice. (How many times have you found one of those stuffed at the back of your cupboard?) It's worth visiting the pricier specialty/whole foods stores once in a while to stock up of interesting varieties if your regular supermarket doesn't carry them.