This recipe allows you to re-create the most basic Turkish lentil soup that is served at almost every Turkish restaurant. It is more of a "method" than an exact recipe, because I have found that trying to measure out grams of chopped onion (for example) does not make enough difference in the soup to be worth the time it takes. Instead, I suggest you use a small onion, carrot, and potato. I am sure that Turkish home cooks making this soup do not bother with such precise measurements anyway! :)
I love using lentils because they are cheap and nutrient dense. They are rich in both dietary fiber and protein, and also contain high amounts of folate, zinc, thiamin, phosphorus, and iron. This lentil soup is perfect for people who don't love the texture of legumes, but want to add more to their diet. I have also found that children usually like it too. In this recipe, I use yellow lentils, but feel free to substitute with red ones.
I also added a note about an optional thickening with a roux at the bottom of the recipe directions. I chose to adjust the liquid (broth) in my recipe so that a roux would not be necessary, but you may experiment with adding more broth and thickening with a roux if you would like to.
Makes 52 oz of soup (1.5 liters)
Or about 4, 12 oz servings
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (22 mL)
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups yellow lentils, rinsed well (~300 grams)
5 cups broth of your choice (vegetable, chicken, beef) (~1200 mL)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Freshly cut lemon wedges
Red pepper flakes (Aleppo pepper if you have it)
- Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large soup pot and add onion, carrot, and potato. Allow vegetables to soften (~5 min) while stirring every minute or so.
- Add lentils, 5 cups of broth, and ground black pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to cook, covered, until lentils have become swollen with water and are falling apart (at least 20 min, but I usually cook them a bit longer because if they are under-cooked at all the soup will be very difficult to digest).
- Blend the soup using a hand-held stick blender or a regular standing one (in a few batches). Taste the soup. If your broth was not salted, you should add salt now.
- Serve soup hot with lemon, red pepper flakes, and plenty of whole wheat bread.
Optional thickening w/ roux:
20 grams white flour
20 grams butter (use oil if you are vegan)
Roux instructions: In a small pan, make a brown roux by melting the butter then adding in the flour and stirring over low heat for about 4-5 minutes. Add some of your soup liquid into the roux to form a thick paste, then whisk the paste into the soup to thicken it. If the soup seems too thick, you may add more broth to thin it out.