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Rosemary Red Soup

Recipe reprinted from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books).

This soup is a gorgeous red color with a deep, satisfying taste to match.  Because of the combination of legumes and vegetables, all you need is some whole-grain bread and salad to make this into a beautifully balanced meal.  Serve it with cornbread and Our Favorite Salad for a simple meal or along sire our Emerald City Salad or Mediterranean Quinoa...whole grains, legumes and load of vegetables.

3 medium carrots
, chopped
1 beet
, chopped (2 if small)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 cup dried red lentils
2 bay leaves
4-5 cups water or stock
2-3 tablespoons light miso

Scrub and chop carrots and beet. Remove tops of beet if present.  No need to peel unless vegetables are not organic.  Heat oil in a 4-quart pot; add onion and saut until soft.  Add carrots and beet; saut a few minutes more.  Finely chop rosemary and oregano leaves, if using fresh herbs.  Wash and drain lentils.  Add herbs, lentils, bay leaves, and water or stock to sauted vegetables; bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 40 minutes.  Remove bay leaves.  Let soup cool and puree in small batches in blender or use an immersion blender.  Dissolve miso in cup water and stir into pureed soup.  Gently reheat before serving if needed and garnish with sour cream if desired..   

Preparation time: 50 minutes
Makes 6-8 servings

FOR BABIES 6 MONTHS & OLDER: Steam a few extra carrot slices and puree with water.

VARIATION FOR CHILDREN: Make a face in the bowl with crackers!


Kathy Byrd
Can't wait to try the rosemary red soup. All of the ingredients are things we all love - except the beets - and if I puree it, they'll never know!!
February 26, 2009, 12:56 pm

Denny Holberton
This is a great tasting soup, the added miso works, I tried it without the miso and then with and found it great both ways, love your clips
February 27, 2009, 8:13 pm

Julie Fay
Do you have recipe for the parsley pumpkin seed topping?
February 28, 2009, 11:42 am

Cynthia Lair
Julie, The garnish recipe will be up next week.
February 28, 2009, 1:36 pm

Tessa Francis
I made this soup for dinner tonight. I cheated a little bit - didn't puree all of it, leaving some nice chunks of beet. I loved it, and both the 23-month old and 40-year old boys in the house gave it glowing reviews. Yums all around once again, Cynthia!
March 1, 2009, 8:32 pm

Ida Zelaya
Making this for Shabbat dinner tonight. Yum. Does it freeze well if I double the recipe?
March 12, 2010, 8:17 am

Cynthia Lair
Ida - yes this freezes well.
March 12, 2010, 8:57 am

Jeff Blumenkrantz
Yet another great recipe - I follow your recipes to the letter, and you haven't disappointed me yet. :-)
May 23, 2010, 10:27 pm

nina bean
where do i find miso?
September 19, 2010, 9:20 am

Cynthia Lair
Hi Nina, Not sure where you live so it's hard to say where you would find it. Most natural foods stores carry miso, also Asian supermarkets. Westbrae - one of the producers of miso - has a store locator here:
September 19, 2010, 2:07 pm

Anne Harrington
I make this soup for my birthday every year. It was the soup that got me to reconsider beets after hating them since birth. Now I love them, as long as they're fresh!
October 29, 2010, 5:15 pm

Anna Barresi
I love this soup. I get lentils in sealed plastic bags from my grocery store and I soak them for a few hours. After soaking, I notice that they are a much lighter shade of orange. Am I losing nutrients by soaking them?
November 1, 2010, 7:23 am

Cynthia Lair
Hi Anna, Soaking the beans would result in negligible nutrient loss.
November 1, 2010, 8:31 am

Shelley Burr
For hubby with severe legume allergy, could you substitute cannelli beans or what would you suggest?
November 12, 2010, 1:27 pm

Shelleyl Burr
PS, hubby also thinks he hates beets. Can't wait to surprise him with this recipe. Think I'll tell him it's made with red velvet cake!
November 12, 2010, 1:30 pm

Rebekah Youngers
I just made this soup tonight and it was fantastic! It was so pretty, and the flavor was incredible. Seriously, I could not stop raving about it. Thank you so much for this creative recipe. It is unlike any other soup that I make, and I'm so happy to add a new one to my repetoire.
January 7, 2011, 11:30 pm

Irina Saibeni
Thank you so much for this recipe!! I made this tonight and it was so delightful!!! Loved every bite of it!!!
May 5, 2011, 8:03 pm

Eve Erickson
Now that the air is getting chilly, it's time to pull out the yummy root veggies! I made this soup for the first time today for lunch: YUM! And it was fun to see the colors changing as it cooked and then when it was pureed, it changed again. It sure made a lot, so I'm definitely freezing some for later. I really like the lentils in this, pureed, it lends a nice flavor and texture.
October 26, 2011, 4:17 pm

becky huntley
Delicious--don't omit the miso (had to make a trip to the store). Gives a unique depth of flavor.
November 17, 2011, 7:39 pm

Anna Barresi
So, I've said it before and I'll say it 5-year old daughter LOVES this soup. Tonight she had 2 bowls full with olive tapenade on top. And when I was packing up the little bit that was leftover, she asked that I save it for her to eat tomorrow, The recipes says this serves 6-8, but in our family it barely feeds 4. We can't get enough of it.
November 29, 2011, 5:57 pm

Ines Hourani
I was so excited to make this soup and even made the extra trip to the store for the miso and it didn't work?! I ended up with Rosemary dirt tasting soup?! What did I do wrong? Please help.
December 9, 2011, 10:53 pm

Jami Kimble
Made this for dinner tonight - it was tasty and a nice change. Used golden beets, so it wasn't as pretty, but we have two little boys and I was worried we might never get red beets out of their clothes. Served it with plain yogurt and the parsley-pumpkin-seed garnish - which was very worth making - it added a lot. Thanks!
February 12, 2012, 9:17 pm

derek gluten
Rosemarry red soup seems to be delicious in taste as seen from the above pics. Its recipe is very simple. Thanks and regards.
May 5, 2012, 1:39 pm

I live in a country where I have not yet been able to find red lentils. Could I use regular lentils? Or some kind of bean? Maybe yellow split peas? I could use a suggestion. Also, a substitute for miso? Thanks!
August 24, 2012, 4:47 pm

Cynthia Lair
KJG, Hi there. The thing is the red lentils cook MUCH faster than other kinds of beans or lentils and they require no soaking so not as easy to substitute as they might seem. You could try yellow split peas, but soak them overnight first. Just use 1 teaspoon of salt in place of the miso.
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