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Today I had a few red peppers left over from last week’s Produce Junction haul, and decided to roast them and make a soup.

It was bitter cold out today, so it was nice to have an excuse to stay inside and cook over the warm stove πŸ™‚

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Ingredients:
– 2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 yellow onion, diced
– 1 large carrot, chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
– 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– 4 canned roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
– 1 tablespoon water
– 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste – 4 cups vegetable broth
– 1 cup lentils
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or to taste

1. Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heating element in your oven and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Arrange red bell pepper halves onto prepared baking sheet with cut sides down. Roast peppers under the preheated broiler until the skin of the peppers has blackened and blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. Place the blackened peppers into a bowl and tightly seal with plastic wrap. Steam as they cool until the skin has loosened completely, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard skins. Cut peppers into small dice.

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3. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook and stir onion and carrot in hot oil until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, tarragon, thyme, and paprika; continue to cook and stir until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

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4. Stir roasted peppers, tomatoes, water, and hot sauce into the peppers mixture, place a cover on the pot, and cook until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes.

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5. Pour vegetable broth into the pot; add lentils, bay leaves and parsley; bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.

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6. This step is optional (I stopped here): Pour soup into a blender or food processor no more than half full. Cover and hold lid down; pulse several time to get the soup to be only slightly chunky. Repeat processing until all soup has been blended.

Enjoy!

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