Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Roasted Tomato & Lentil Soup with Watercress Pesto

There might be a heatwave going on in the middle of the country, but here in the northwest it's overcast and rainy, perfect for homemade tomato soup.

Roasted tomatoes, carrots and garlic simmered with fresh basil and green lentils. Served with fresh, bright pesto made with watercress and buttery pine nuts.

Roasted Tomato & Lentil Salad
5 roma tomatoes, quartered
1 carrot, small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
1 small white onion, small dice
3 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
5 basil leaves
1 cup green lentils
2 cups water

Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay the tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion and garlic on the tray in a single layer. Drizzle with oil and season with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and red pepper flakes. Roast for 35 minutes until the vegetables are soft and browned. Transfer the vegetables to a large pot and add the tomatoes and whole basil leaves.
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the basil leaves then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Bring back to the pot and add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish with watercress pesto.

Watercress Pesto
1/2 bunch (about 1 cup) watercress leaves
3 tbl pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Season to taste.

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