recipe: turkish red lentil soup

Soup may not be the most appropriate way to celebrate the first week of summer, but I've been craving this red lentil soup for weeks.  Since I got groceries after work, that meant a lot less time to make dinner.  (Yeah... I cook almost every night, I really like cooking, and don't really like left overs.)  So this soup was ideal since it comes together quickly and easily.  Plus the husband made Turkish bread to go with it.  He's becoming quite the baker.  Banana bread yesterday, Turkish pide today, and he claims he's making brioche tomorrow.  We shall see.  Anyhow, this is one of my absolute favorite soups, really similar to Anatolia, only the greatest Turkish restaurant ever. {confession: also the only Turkish restaurant I've ever been to...}  

  • 2 Tbs olive oil or butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes (drained from a can works)
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, washed and drained
  • 1/4 cup fine grain bulgur, washed and drained
  • 1/4 cup rice, washed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp dry mint
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil or butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute about 5 minutes until beginning to soften and add garlic and tomato paste.  Saute another 3-4 minutes or until garlic is fragrant and tomato paste has broken down.   
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the diced tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes.  Then add the chicken stock, lentils, rice, bulgar wheat, paprika, cayenne, mint, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked through.  
  3. Transfer to a blender, and carefully pulse 3-4 times, or until desired consistency is reached, and pour back into the pot.  
  4. Optional: Serve with additional mint and lemon wedges
  • This recipe makes a pretty hearty soup, with some texture.  If you're looking for a more viscose soup, you may want an extra cup or two of broth.
  • Red lentils will be found in the international section of the grocery, or at a specialty grocer.  
  • Bulgar wheat can be found at health-food-esque stores, often in the bulk foods section.  Also available at international markets.
  • I also buy my dried mint at the international market, it's way cheaper.
  • Tomato paste in a tube is the handiest ingredient ever for recipes that call for just a Tbs or so. (not sure if I've ever seen a recipe call for a can of tomato paste?)  You can find it in the italian section of your grocery store alongside the fancy pasta sauces and anchovies in a tube.

Yields 4 servings.

1 comment:

  1. This actually looks pretty similar to a recipe my mom makes, I'll have to try it and see how the taste compares! It sounds/looks amazing, Turkish food is da best.


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