If you’ve ever wondered what happens to my food collages after I photograph them, wonder no longer. The answer is that I eat them up. Every last scrap. If I’m making a morning food collage, the food often ends up in a frittata. It’s already prepped and ready to go straight from collage to skillet. If I’m food collaging in the afternoon, many times it ends up in a salad or a hearty soup like the root vegetable and lentil soup I’m sharing today.
Here are roots in a rainbow of colors from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. We have turnip, black radish, green, garlic, carrot, scallion, daikon, leek, sunchoke, baby potato, celeriac, and rutabaga. I shouldn’t have favorites. But I do. Ever since I listened to this Science Friday podcast about nutrition and how black, purple, and blue foods are the healthiest, I’ve really been digging black radishes and purple carrots. It’s worth a listen.
I used the root vegetables from the collage (except for the daikon) for this soup, but it’s very flexible. So, feel free to use more carrots for a sweeter soup or bump up the celeriac, sunchokes, or potatoes for a creamier one.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs, root vegetables, in 1/2″ chunks
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 cup of red lentils
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 quarts filtered water
salt and pepper
1.Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, root vegetables, garlic, and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.
2. Add the lentils, tomatoes, water, spices, and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender (about 30 to 40 minutes).
4. Puree in a blender until velvety smooth.
5. Serve immediately. Garnish with scallions, croutons, chili oil, and parsley, if desired.