Red pepper, tomato and lentil soup
With an abundance of lycopene and other antioxidants from the veggies and folate, potassium and iron from the lentils, this supercharged warming soup will keep your immune system topped up and you'll feel fighting fit!
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 2 - 3
Calories: (based on 2 servings) 295
1 red pepper
150 g tomatoes (I used baby plum tomatoes)
1 red onion
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp smoked (or not) paprika
1 tsp frozen chopped basil (but you can use fresh/dried) and more to serve
500ml vegetable stock (you can get tomato stock cubes - I would recommend!)
Oil Spray or just a very small amount of oil
Method (or madness... which it usually feels like in my kitchen!):
Pre-heat oven to 180°C
1) Chop the red onion, pepper and tomatoes roughly. Allow the pieces to be big enough so they won't burn too easily. If you are using small tomatoes, make sure you at least pierce the skin so they don't erupt or pop in the oven.
2) Pop in a roasting dish and spray with a little oil (very minimal oil needed). You can leave the oil out completely if you wish. Roast for approximately 35 mins until the veg has softened and started to caramalise.
3) In the meantime, measure out your stock into a jug with boiling water and put lentils in. This will help them soften when you start to cook your soup.
4) Once vegetables have cooked, you can either add them, the stock, lentils, chopped tomatoes paprika, basil and puree to a large saucepan OR pop it all in a soup maker (this just makes it easier as it can blend as it cooks).
5) If using stove top, cook until lentils are soft (about 20 mins) and then let cool to blend to smooth or use a hand held blender. If using a soup maker use the smooth setting.
6) This soup will be very thick and filling and if you blend well enough the skins on the tomatoes should be well incorporated so you don't have random tomato skin lumps in your soup... not very appetising! And this adds extra fibre to the soup too - leave all the goodness in, I say!
7) Serve with bread, garlic bread (vegan), or drizzle with a plant based cream for extra indulgence!