Turkish Red Lentil Soup

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3 tablespoons salted butter
1 medium yellow onion
1 medium garlic clove, finely grated
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup red lentils
2 tablespoons long-grain wild rice
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
Chopped fresh mint, to garnish
Lemon wedges, to garnish


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then cook for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the lentils, rice, 5 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Season to taste.
  3. While the soup is cooking, in a small skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper and cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Serve the soup with Alleppo peper oil drizzled over each serving and sprinkled with mint. if using, and lemon wedges on the side.

If you can't get Alleppo pepper, mix 2 teaspoons sweet paprika and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Crush the pepper flakes with your fingers before mixing.


Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Television Cookbook