Scented with mint and cumin, this hearty Turkish Red Lentil Soup is packed with vegetables and loaded with protein.
Whenever we order takeout or go out to eat with the boys, we love going to ethnic restaurants. Not only are they often more affordable than American chains but the food is typically much more well rounded, balanced and nutritious than the standard kid-menu fare.
One of our go-to spots for dining out is a local Turkish restaurant that serves the most flavorful red lentil soup on earth. As the weather starts to cool down, we crave this Turkish red lentil soup more and more. So much so that I am constantly trying to recreate it at home so we can get our fix any time we want!
We always keep Bob’s Red Mill red lentils on hand for such cravings. If you’ve never cooked red lentils at home before you might be surprised to learn that they are fast cooking, much faster than brown, green or black lentils. In fact, you don’t want to cook them longer than 15-20 minutes or else they will truly break down to mush.
After trying many versions of this soup at home, I think I finally nailed it. Creamy, yukon gold potatoes are sautéed with tender carrots and lightly scented with dried mint. When pureed together with the protein-packed red lentils, you are left with a warm and satisfying bowl of authentic Turkish red lentil soup. A pinch of cayenne and splash of lemon juice brings all of the flavors together at the end.
Your spoon is waiting.
Preheat a large stock pot over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray (or drizzle with olive oil).
Sauté onions and carrots, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes.
Add potatoes, red lentils, cumin, salt and cayenne to the pot and continue sautéing for 2-3 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon, stir tomato paste into the pot and cook for 1-2 minutes so that the paste can absorb the flavors of the other ingredients.
Pour in chicken broth, give the entire mixture a stir, then increase heat to high bringing the soup to a boil. and bring entire pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes and lentils are cooked through, 15-20 minutes.
Remove pot from the heat and add mint and lemon juice.
Puree until smooth using a handheld blender. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly before serving.
Disclosure: I am honored to be in a long term partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.
Be sure to check out my Soups board on Pinterest for even more tasty ideas!
For more tasty soup recipes, just in time for fall, check out these ideas from friends:
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chilled Spiced Peach Soup
Red or Green? Spiced Vegetable Soup with Lentils & Garbanzo Beans
Feed Me Phoebe: Portuguese Kale Soup with Sausage and Cherry Tomatoes
The Mom 100: Avgolemono Soup
The Heritage Cook: Soul-Warming Tomato Soup with Peppers and Onions (Gluten-Free)
Healthy Eats: 6 Healthy Soups for the First Tailgate of the Season
Domesticate Me: Five Spice Sweet Potato Soup
Taste with the Eyes: Chicken Soup with Exotic Saffron Matzoh Balls
FN Dish: It’s Almost Spoon Season: Top Classic Soups to Simmer Now