One of the things I enjoy most about writing this blog is that I am always learning new things about what the world eats. I had no idea at all that red lentil soup, a winter staple at my place, was so popular in Turkey. I (silly, privileged Aussie) just thought it was something that vegans made up after eating a lot of dahl.
I was wrong, and it seems the soup I’ve been making every winter is actually Turkish, right down to the dash of red pepper.
I have read many recipes for this soup, all slightly different- some use carrot, some add tomatoes, some add a little cream, etc. My recipe is pretty basic, though I add a little tomato paste for colour and flavour. If you give it a try, play around with it and add whatever you like.
Red Lentil Soup
- 1 medium onion, dices
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 potato, peeled and diced (I usually don’t bother peeling, and just deal with the skin bits, because
I am lazythe skin is nutritious).
- 1 litre of stock. I like to use strong (but not salty), home made stock, but use what you like.
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- In a soup pot, fry the onion until translucent.
- Add the garlic and fry for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils, stock, potato, tomato paste and pepper and bring to the boil.
- Return to a simmer and pop the lid on loosely. Allow to cook for 40 minutes, until the lentils are cooked.
- Remove from heat and carefully blend (trying not to burn yourself – ouch!).
- Taste and add salt if needed.
- Serve with a little coriander on top.
Unfortunately I have no access to blending equipment at the moment, but I decided to make the soup anyway. I had hoped I could cook it until it all fell apart and blended of its own accord, but I was wrong. So, I tried pushing it through my colander, with minimal success.
Eventually I resorted to serving it up with the solids artfully heaped in the bottom of the bowl, and the liquid poured on top. It worked, kinda, and it tasted good regardless.