Prepare your vegetables to be roasted. Chop the peppers in half and remove the stalks and seeds. Peel and chop the onion into quarters and remove the skin from the garlic cloves.
3 Red Bell Peppers, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic
Place your peppers, onions, and garlic on a tray in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle your paprika and chilli or herbs over the top. Roast in the oven at 180°C / 360°F for 35 minutes. Make sure your tray is large enough to accomodate all your veggies in a single layer.
Whilst the vegetables are roasting, add the stock to a large pan and simmer the red lentils for around 20 minutes until soft.
100 g dried red lentils, 700 ml vegetable stock
Add the roasted vegetables to the stock and lentils.
Add the tomato puree or paste and blend your soup with a stick blender until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Make sure your soup is piping hot and serve.
1 dash salt, 1 dash freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon tomato puree or tomato paste
Red peppers are the sweetest and work best for this recipe. You can also use yellow or orange, but avoid the green ones as they have a more bitter taste. Roasted peppers that come in a jar are not recommended. Red lentils give the soup the nice red colour and are quick to cook. You can substitute brown or green but you need to simmer for longer until they are soft. You could also substitute beans such as cannellini beans or chickpeas.Herbs/Spices Change the spices and herbs to suit your own taste. Add them a little at a time and check the seasoning.
Serve with fresh crusty bread. You can also add some toppings such as croutons, chilli flakes or pumpkin seeds if you have used spices in your soup. If you've opted for herbs, a dash of cream and a sprinking of fresh herbs such as basil or parsley.
Fresh soup will keep well in the fridge for 2 - 3 days. The recommended freezing time for vegetable soups to maintain the best quality is 4 - 6 months. It will still be safe to eat after this time, but the quality may start to deteriorate. Store soup in an airtight container.