Lentils are simmered with roasted garlic and red bell pepper, carrot, onion, asparagus tips and peas and seasoned with curry powder, marmalade and saffron in this thick, sweet soup.
INGREDIENTS (for 8 servings):
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium head garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 1/2 cups dry lentils
- 2 (32 ounce) containers chicken broth
- 1 1/2 large carrot, shredded
- 1 large onion, grated
- 1 cup asparagus tips
- 1 cup sweet peas
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Cut the top off of the head of garlic and place in a shallow dish in 1 inch of water. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with basil, cover and place on a baking sheet. Halve and seed the bell pepper, drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and place on the baking sheet.
Bake garlic and pepper in preheated oven until pepper is browned and garlic is soft, 20 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and, when cool enough to handle, remove skin from pepper and chop. Squeeze out garlic cloves and mash together in a bowl to form a paste.
While garlic and pepper are baking, combine lentils and chicken broth in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes, until lentils are just tender.
Stir garlic paste, bell pepper, carrots, onion, asparagus, peas into lentil mixture, adding more broth to thin if necessary. Season with sugar, marmalade, curry powder, saffron, salt and pepper. Simmer 30 minutes more, until vegetables are tender and flavors are well blended.