Creamy Red Pepper and Lentil Soup

Creamy Red Pepper and Lentil Soup in a bowl with spoon and pot in background. Whole red pepper next to bowl. This is an easy and hearty lunch or dinner!  It comes together in just 40 minutes.
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This Creamy Red Pepper and Lentil Soup is an easy and hearty lunch or dinner!  It’s full of flavor that’s slightly sweet and savory and comes together in just 40 minutes, but can be made entirely ahead and just reheated.

Creamy Red Pepper and Lentil Soup in a bowl with spoon and pot in background. Whole red pepper next to bowl. This is an easy and hearty lunch or dinner!  It comes together in just 40 minutes.

This is one delicious, and easy-to-make soup that’s hearty enough to be a meal.  This Creamy Red Pepper and Lentil Soup is about to become a new favorite!  Sweet bell red peppers, carrots, onions, garlic, herbs and soft red lentils are cooked with broth until perfectly tender.  Then the soup is blended until thick and creamy but still with some texture from the veggies.  The flavor of this soup is savory and slightly sweet from the carrots, with a peppery backdrop from the red peppers and nutty, earthy flavors from the lentils, onions, and garlic.  It’s a party in your mouth!

Easy Dinner with Easy Ingredients!

Fridge/Fresh Produce Ingredients

  • Red bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Butter

Pantry

  • Seasonings: Oregano, Ground Thyme, Salt, Ground Black Pepper
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable Stock or Vegetable Broth
  • Uncooked red lentils

Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

Red Pepper and Lentil Soup Recipe Equipment

I made this Red Pepper and Lentil Soup in a dutch oven.

For blending the soup, you can use an Immersion blender or regular standing a blender.

Time Saving Prep-Ahead Steps for Red Pepper Lentil Soup

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

Peel and dice the carrots and onions. Dice the red pepper. Mince the garlic.

Rinse and drain the lentils.

Cooking Steps for Red Pepper Lentil Soup

Add a tsp of olive oil to the pot and add the carrots, onions, garlic, red pepper, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.

Spatula stirring seasonings into veggies in pot for Red Pepper and Lentil Soup. This is an easy and hearty lunch or dinner!  It comes together in just 40 minutes.

Then add the butter, olive oil, and flour. Stir so all flour is moistened and combined with the veggies.

Spatula mixing flour into veggies in pot for Red Pepper and Lentil Soup. This is an easy and hearty lunch or dinner!  It comes together in just 40 minutes.

Add the red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired, to taste. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.

Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.

Hand holding measuring cup of dry red lentils over pot of soup for Red Pepper and Lentil Soup. This is an easy and hearty lunch or dinner!  It comes together in just 40 minutes.

Blending step.

Option 1 – Use an immersion blender to blend about half of the soup so it’s thick and smooth, but also has texture and chunks of veggies and lentils.

Immersion blender blending soup in pot for Red Pepper and Lentil Soup. This is an easy and hearty lunch or dinner!  It comes together in just 40 minutes.

Option 2 – Using a slotted spoon, scoop approximately 1 1/2 cups of the veggies and lentils into a blender. Add 1/2 cup of the liquid and blend until smooth. Then add back to the pot and stir to combine.

Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve.

RECIPE FAQS

Is this soup Vegan?

This Red Pepper and Lentil Soup recipe is not vegan as it includes butter. To make this recipe vegan, you can simply eliminate the butter and replace it with another tablespoon of Olive Oil.

How do you make this Red Pepper and Lentil Soup Gluten Free?

To make this Soup recipe Gluten Free, you can replace the flour with a cornstarch slurry. Before you get to Step 3 of the cooking instructions, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 1/4 cup of cold water. Then in Step 3 mix the cornstarch slurry in with the broth. As the soup comes up to a boil in Step 3, be sure to stir often as it thickens. Follow the remaining steps.

Can I use roasted red pepper in this soup recipe?

For the red pepper in this lentil soup, you can use either fresh or roasted peppers. I love the fresh flavor, but roasted brings another level of flavor. When using roasted, buy the ones that are stored in water vs. olive oil. Olive oil is fine, but is not needed for the flavor in this recipe and just adds calories. If you just want a roasted or smoky flavor, you can also use fresh red peppers with a teaspoon of smoked paprika!

Can this be turned into a red pepper, lentil, and tomato soup?

This Red Pepper and Lentil Soup can be evolved in so many ways! If you want to add a tomato base to it, just add a can of diced tomatoes with the broth.

Can this Red Pepper Soup be frozen?

This Red Pepper and Lentil Soup can be made entirely ahead, portioned out as desired, and then frozen. I like to freeze this soup in freezer bags laying flat in a sheet pan. Once frozen, I can stack the bags like books for easy access in the freezer. This soup will last for up to 6 months in the freezer.

To reheat the soup, you can thaw it in the fridge overnight and then heat it on medium heat in a pot on the stove. You can also reheat it from the frozen state.

How many days will this last in the refrigerator?

Once cooked, this soup can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Creamy Red Pepper and Lentil Soup in a bowl with spoon and pot in background. Whole red pepper next to bowl. This is an easy and hearty lunch or dinner!  It comes together in just 40 minutes.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Creamy Red pepper and Lentil Soup

This Creamy Red Pepper and Lentil Soup is a delicious, and easy-to-make soup that’s hearty enough to be a meal. Make entirely ahead and enjoy on a busy weeknight. Sweet bell red peppers, carrots, onions, garlic, herbs and soft red lentils are cooked with broth until perfectly tender. Then the soup is blended until thick and creamy but still with some texture from the veggies. The flavor of this soup is savory and slightly sweet from the carrots, with a peppery backdrop from the red peppers and nutty, earthy flavors from the lentils, onions, and garlic.

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy soup, Lentils, one pan meal, soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 210 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 Red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup Carrots diced
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 3 tsp garlic minced (3 cloves)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups Vegetable Stock or Broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked red lentils rinsed and drained

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Peel and dice the carrots and onions. Dice the red pepper. Mince the garlic.

  2. Rinse and drain the lentils.

Cooking Steps

  1. Add a tsp of olive oil to the pot and add the carrots, onions, garlic, red pepper, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Then add the butter, olive oil, and flour. Stir so all flour is moistened and combined with the veggies.

  3. Add the red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired, to taste. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.

  5. Blending step.

    Option 1 – Use an immersion blender to blend about half of the soup so it's thick and smooth, but also has texture and chunks of veggies and lentils.

    Option 2 – Using a slotted spoon, scoop approximately 1 1/2 cups of the veggies and lentils into a blender. Add 1/2 cup of the liquid and blend until smooth. Then add back to the pot and stir to combine.

  6. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Recipe Notes

  1. Vegan – This Red Pepper and Lentil Soup recipe is not vegan as it includes butter. To make this recipe vegan, you can simply eliminate the butter and replace it with another tablespoon of Olive Oil.
  2. Gluten Free – To make this Soup recipe Gluten Free, you can replace the flour with a cornstarch slurry. Before you get to Step 3 of the cooking instructions, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 1/4 cup of cold water. Then in Step 3 mix the cornstarch slurry in with the broth. As the soup comes up to a boil in Step 3, be sure to stir often as it thickens. Follow the remaining steps.
  3. You can use either fresh or roasted peppers. I love the fresh flavor, but roasted brings another level of flavor. When using roasted, buy the ones that are stored in water vs. olive oil. Olive oil is fine, but is not needed for the flavor in this recipe and just adds calories. If you just want a roasted or smoky flavor, you can also use fresh red peppers with a teaspoon of smoked paprika!
  4. Freezing – This Red Pepper and Lentil Soup can be made entirely ahead, portioned out as desired, and then frozen. I like to freeze this soup in freezer bags laying flat in a sheet pan. Once frozen, I can stack the bags like books for easy access in the freezer. This soup will last for up to 6 months in the freezer.  To reheat the soup, you can thaw it in the fridge overnight and then heat it on medium heat in a pot on the stove. You can also reheat it from the frozen state.
  5. Fridge Storage – Once cooked, this soup can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere

Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese on plate with crispy bacon bits and diced chives on top and spoon with scoop on side of plate. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.
Jump to Recipe

Creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious describes this one here, my friends!  This is my Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese and it is definitely a must-try side dish!  This recipe takes a healthy, let’s face it, rather unappealing and chewy grain, and turns it into something so delicious, it’s almost naughty.  The garlic, bacon, and gruyere cheese work together to give barley the make-over it deserves and your taste buds a true delight!

SO EASY!  Everything, including boiling the barley, can be prepped ahead, so that right before eating, you just need to spend 15 minutes making the sauce, then mixing it with the barley.

CHECK OUT THIS TUTORIAL SHOWING HOW TO MAKE THIS!

Velvety Barley Recipe With Bacon & Gruyere by talkingmeals on Jumprope.

What to serve with this Barley Recipe

This recipe goes great with anything from chicken to seafood to steak to roasted veggies.  My favorite to serve with this Barley are Glazed Pan Seared Scallops with Garlic and Honey.   Parmesan Crusted Chicken & Asparagus has both the chicken and the veggie baking in the oven at the same time!  Or a simple Mediterranean marinated chicken breast goes well this or even Baked Coconut Shrimp.  I also love Hungarian Chicken with the smokey paprika that pairs so well with the bacon in this barley.  

WHAT IS BARLEY? 

Barley is a grain and is sold in most grocery stores today.  It’s typically sold as Pearl or Pearled Barley, but you can also find Hulled barley.  Hulled is where only the indigestible outer husk/shell is removed, but the bran layer is left.  It takes longer to cook to a soft texture than Pearl barley, about an hour.  Hulled Barley has more fiber and nutrients because it still has the bran.  Pearl Barley, which is what I found in my store and used in this recipe, has both the husk and bran layers removed.  It’s still very nutritious, but without the bran, has less fiber and nutrients than the Hulled version.   

Barley has so many healthy benefits!  It’s a great source of Fiber, vitamins, and nutrients. Barley contains both insoluble and soluble fiber.  Insoluble fiber helps to improve digestion and prevent constipation.  While soluble fiber reduces hunger and enhances feelings of fullness.  Barley also contains antioxidants linked to a lower risk of cancer and heart disease.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

There really is nothing special required for this recipe. You will just need a medium pot to cook the barley and a large skillet/frying pan for cooking the bacon, making the sauce, then mixing everything together. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR THIS BARLEY RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

Dice the bacon. Finely slice the chives. 

Cook the Barley then drain off the excess water and then set aside or store in the fridge until ready to make the sauce.  Barley is boiled in water, it’s not steamed like rice.  It takes longer than rice or pasta to cook because it’s a harder grain that takes longer to soften to a nice chew texture.  Total time to simmer is between 30-40 minutes, depending on how soft you prefer it to be.

Can I cook the bacon ahead?

You can cook the bacon according to the recipe instructions up to 5 days in advance.  If you do this, please note, you will want to save the bacon fat.  The bacon fat is used in the sauce to cook the garlic and give rich bacon flavor.  Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to cool and crisp up, as per the instructions.  Then, pour the fat into a glass container and store it sealed in the fridge.  It will turn to a solid and when you are ready to make the sauce, you simply scoop it into the pan and it will melt beautifully.

Or…you can make the entire sauce ahead and either mix it with the barley or store in a container in the fridge.

Can I use Turkey bacon, Pancetta, or other replacement?

Yes, you can either eliminate the bacon or replace it.  If you use something very lean, such as turkey bacon, you will need to supplement with olive oil when you add the garlic.  If you use pancetta, dice it and use it the same way as the bacon.  If you render it, you should get enough fat, but you can supplement with olive oil as needed.

COOK YOUR SAUCE & FINISH THE BARLEY RECIPE 

Preheat a large frying pan. Add the diced bacon on medium-low heat. Stir so that the bacon doesn’t burn. Render the fat and crip the bacon, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon leaving the fat behind and place on a plate to the side or store in the fridge if doing this in advance.

Raw diced bacon in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese.  It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.

Spoon scooping out cooked diced bacon in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese.  It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.

Make the cornstarch slurry by whisking in the cornstarch to the milk. set aside.

To the pan with the bacon fat, add the garlic (add the olive oil if more fat is needed). Stir the garlic and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.

Garlic added to bacon fat in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese.  It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.

Whisk in the broth, ground pepper, and milk cornstarch slurry. Continue to whisk as it heats and start to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Then whisk in the shredded cheese and half of the chives.

Whisk stirring thickened sauce leave a track on bottom of large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese.  It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.

Whisk mixing shredded gruyere cheese into sauce in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese.  It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.

Finally, add the barley to the sauce and warm through. Taste for seasoning and add a dash of salt and pepper as needed. Serve and garnish with the remaining parsley. Enjoy!

Spatula mixing cooked barley into cheese sauce in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese.  It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.

Spoon mixing cooked bacon bits into Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese in large pan on stove.  It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.

What other cheeses can I use?

If you don’t have gruyere cheese, you can use cheddar, manchego, gouda, jack, or other medium-firm melty shredded cheese.  You can use soft cheeses as well, such as brie or goat cheese, just be sure to really stir them in as they melt.  Finally, you can use a very firm cheese, such as grated parmesan, as well.

Can I make this ahead and/or freeze?

You can make this recipe ahead and store in the refridgerator for up to 5 days in advance.  To warm, you can place it in the oven at 350F degrees for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through.  You can also warm in the microwave.  

You can freeze this in a freezer-safe AND oven-safe container for up to 6 months in advance.  To reheat, you can place in the oven directly from the freezer and reheat at 350F degrees for 30-45 minutes or until warmed through to the center.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese on plate with crispy bacon bits and diced chives on top and spoon with scoop on side of plate. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere

Creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious describes this one here, my friends!  This is my Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese and it is definitely a must-try side dish!  This recipe takes a healthy, let's face it, rather unappealing and chewy grain, and turns it into something so delicious, it's almost naughty.  The garlic, bacon, and gruyere cheese work together to give barley the make-over it deserves! Everything, including boiling the barley, can be prepped ahead, so that right before eating, you just need to spend 15 minutes making the sauce, then mixing it with the barley.

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword barley, grains, healthy sides, side dishes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Dry Barley, pearled or hulled (I used pear)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 slices Bacon
  • 1 teaspoon Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Milk, 1% (any milk fat content is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 dash Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 cup Chives, finely diced

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Dice the bacon. Finely slice the chives.

  2. Boil a large pot of water for the Barley. Once the water is boiling, add a teaspoon of salt. Add the Barley and stir. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes until it reaches your desired tenderness. Drain off the excess water and then set aside or store in the fridge until ready to make and add to the sauce.

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat a large frying pan. Add the diced bacon on medium-low heat. Stir so that the bacon doesn't burn. Render the fat and crip the bacon, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon leaving the fat behind and place on a plate lined with paper towel. Set to the side or store in the fridge if doing this in advance.

    Spoon scooping out cooked diced bacon in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.
  2. Make the cornstarch slurry by whisking in the cornstarch to the milk. set aside.

  3. To the pan with the bacon fat, add the garlic (add the olive oil if more fat is needed). Stir the garlic and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.

    Garlic added to bacon fat in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.
  4. Whisk in the broth, ground pepper, and milk cornstarch slurry. Continue to whisk as it heats and start to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Then whisk in the shredded cheese and half of the chives.

    Whisk mixing shredded gruyere cheese into sauce in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.
  5. Add the barley and the bacon (reserve some for topping) to the sauce, mix together and warm through. Taste for seasoning and add a dash of salt and pepper as needed. Serve and garnish with the remaining bacon and chives. Enjoy!

    Spoon mixing cooked bacon bits into Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese in large pan on stove. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.