Turkish red lentil soup with sumac and saffron

So simple and hearty, amazingly refreshing, Turkish red lentils soup is one of my favourites. Here I’m giving you a traditional recipe with a spicy twist that you can try. Or just stick to the original recipe. Whatever you do, don’t forget that splash of lemon in the end.


What you’ll need for 6-8 servings:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 – 3 carrots
  • 250g red lentils
  • 2-3 spoons of tomato puree
  • olive oil
  • lemon

and now, let’s talk spices! these are the must have ones:

  • some beautiful mild red pepper
  • a few stalks of fresh thyme
  • 2 – 3tsp paprika (turkish pul biber if you can find)
  • cumin which I actually didn’t use here
  • salt

and now if you are up for a twist:

  • 1 tsp of sumak
  • a pinch of saffron

Let’s cook:

Saute chopped onion with herbs and spices in a bit of olive oil. Add here 2tsp of paprika and save one for the oil mix. Mix in the tomato, add the lentils, chopped carrots, cover it all with about 1,5l of water and bring to boil. Then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the lentils are cooked which is about 15 to 20 minutes.

Once cooked, blend all the ingredients with a stick mixer.

Now mix a spoon or two of olive oil with the remaining paprika to drizzle over the soup once served. And don’t forget the splash of lemon.


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