Turkish Lentil Soup

Silky, flavourful and wholesome, Turkish lentil soup is easy to make. Drizzled with some paprika-infused oil and lemon juice, this red lentil soup is perfect for every season. A classic Turkish lentil soup has an onion base and is flavoured with cumin, mint and pepper. The presence of red lentils makes this meal so much more nutritious. Red lentils are low in calories, packed with iron and are an excellent source of protein.

Red lentils are a staple in all Pakistani households. Lentils of any kind are so comforting to have around. Specially for days when you cannot decide what to cook or are unable to make a grocery run. If you have some lentils on hand you can always whip up a meal, like this super easy and delicious lentil soup.

The quantities used in this recipe are rough estimates. Feel free to adjust the flavours to your preferred taste. I strongly recommend the simple to make paprika-infused oil. The oil adds a beautiful red hue too the soups presentation and gives it hints of a lovely earthy flavour.

Ingredients:

For Lentil Soup:

  • Red Lentils 1 cup; washed
  • Olive Oil 3 tbsp
  • Onion 1 large; finely diced
  • Garlic 2 cloves; minced
  • Carrot 1 large; diced
  • Potato 1 medium; diced
  • Tomato 1 medium; diced
  • Tomato Paste 1 tbsp
  • Cumin Powder 1 tsp
  • Paprika Powder 1 tsp
  • Dried Mint 1/2 tsp
  • Black Pepper 1/2 tsp
  • Pul Biber or Red Pepper Flakes 1/4 tsp
  • Water 6 cups
  • Vegetable Broth 2 cups
  • Salt to taste

For Paprika-infused Oil:

  • Olive Oil 1/4 cup
  • Paprika Powder 2 tsp
  • Red Pepper Flaked or Pul Biber 1/2 tsp

Method:

Heat oil in a pan. Saute onion until it is translucent. Add mined garlic and saute for a minute. Add diced potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and tomato paste and saute for 5 more minutes. Mix in cumin powder, paprika powder, dried mint, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Keep sauteing for a couple more minutes to allow the spices to bloom. Once the spices are fragrant mix in washed lentils, stir for a few minutes then add water and stock. Allow the soup to cook on a simmer (medium-low heat) until lentils, carrots and potatoes are cooked. Blend the soup with an immersion blender to your desired consistency. You can adjust the thickness of soup by adding more water if needed.

For the Paprika oil combine paprika powder, red pepper flakes and oil in a pan. Place the pan over low heat. When the oil begins to bubble remove pan from heat and transfer prepared oil to a serving bowl.

Ladle hot soup into a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tsp or more of paprika oil and a pinch of dried mint leaves. Serve with lemon wedges.

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