Roasted Tomato Lentil Soup

I’m not going to lie to you: I love tinned tomatoes. I have several cans of several different kinds in my cupboard at all times and freak out if the supply gets low. Mark claims all my meals are red because they all contain tomatoes, and they are usually from a tin. Unless I’m eating them raw, I rarely see the need to waste money on expensive fresh tomatoes when tinned ones taste better, which is true at all times except summer. I do cook with fresh tomatoes sometimes during the height of tomato season when they are cheap(ish) and abundant, but really Mark and I have a hard time keeping fresh tomatoes around long enough to cook with them – we eat tomato sandwiches nonstop during the summer. I wanted badly to start growing and canning my own tomatoes, but I have a black thumb, so I rely on the farmer’s market. Sometimes, though, I get a little overzealous at the farmer’s market and buy more than we can handle. Before they went bad, I wanted to do something with the tomatoes I had on hand, so I decided to roast them. Because I wanted a light dinner, I also decided to use the roasted tomatoes in a soup. Hence

Roasted Tomato Lentil Soup

3 – 5 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 head garlic, peeled
olive oil
8 cups vegetable broth
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup pearled barley
2 large carrots, chopped
4 small potatoes, chopped
several leaves cabbage, chiffonaded
other leftover veggies – I used a few stalks of asparagus, chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
3 small dried red peppers
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
2 oz small pasta, optional

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the tomatoes, onions, and garlic on a baking sheat and toss with olive oil.

Roast until beginning to char, 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. When you remove it from the oven, smash the garlic up a little bit.

Meanwhile prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Put the rest of the ingredients except the optional pasta into a pressure cooker.

Bring up to pressure, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Release pressure using the quick release method. Return to burner over medium heat, add the tomatoes, onions, and garlic, as well as the pasta if you are using it, and simmer until pasta is al dente. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, simmer the soup for 45 minutes or until barley is cooked, then add the pasta. Add the tomatoes whenever they are done.

This was definitely screaming for some crusty bread, but alas, bread never lasts until Thursday night.

So, I was wondering: have you ever seen a cat cuter than Torticia?

Didn’t think so. She’s watching her brother climb all over me in this picture.

Speaking of her brother, LOOK HOW HUGE GOMEZ IS:

This is going to sound weird, but in this picture he looks like an old friend of mine from the record store I worked in in college. I’ve never thought that when looking at him in person, but something about this picture (which doesn’t really look like Gomez to me) just really looks like the friend.

This picture captures more what Gomez looks like to me – with his super cute huge round eyes – but it’s hard to take a good picture of him because once he sees me, he gets up and comes trotting over to the camera…which is exactly what Brachtune used to do. (Speaking of whom, I had another dream that the ghost of Brachtune came to live with us…I must miss that girl a lot.)

I was wondering tonight what the kittens should be for Halloween….


  1. Courtney Said,

    September 17, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

    I am with you–fresh summer tomatoes need to be eaten raw in all their glory–so delicious! I love canned/jarred tomatoes for cooking and always have them on hand as well. This year I am super excited as I helped one of my friends can and she gave me 5 big jars of the tomatoes we canned! Yay! But I have lots of store bought back up ones too 🙂 I will have to give this recipe a try–it looks fantastic! Do you think it would work with canned tomatoes? Or should I cut up some of my farmers market tomatoes…is it worth it, lol?!?


  2. Josiane Said,

    September 17, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

    This soup looks like exactly the thing I’d have needed to eat this week to stave off that pesky little cold…
    Torticia is quite the cutie kitty indeed!

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