Hearty Turkish Red Lentil Soup
This is a Turkish soup, which is really somewhere between soup and daal.
It’s got rice and bulgar already in it though, so it’s a one-pot dish.
It’s hearty and comforting, and most importantly beyond simple, as long as you can wait for the lentils to cook themselves.
It’s originally from a book called ‘The New Middle Eastern Vegetarian’, by Sally Butcher (which is just a fantastic book- buy it now). In the book it’s called ‘The Soup of Ezo the Bride’, and the story behind it is that a woman named Ezo Gelin, who basically had two horrendous marriages, the first was a bum, and the second had a monster mother-in-law. This soup apparently stemmed from her efforts to please this mother-in-law.
I’m surprised it didn’t work- it’s amazing!
- Butter/oil for frying
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils, cleaned and rinsed
- 1/4 cup long-grain rice
- 1/2 cup bulgar
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- Salt & Pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- Melt then butter in a soup pot, and add a bit of oil. Fry the onion until it starts to soften, and add the garlic. After a minute or so add the tomatoes, cumin and paprika.
- Stir for another minute and add in the tomato paste followed by the lentils, rice and bulgar. Store in the broth, and bring to the boil. Turn down to a summer and cook for 30-40 minutes.
- Once cooked, season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the dried mint.
- When ready to serve, squeeze a half a lemon over each bowl, and stir. You can also top with a dollop of yogurt.