Turkish Red Lentil Soup - Kitchen Chatters
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Vegetarian Soups and Stews

Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is seen all over the world in its various forms. It is a thick rich almost stew like soup that is known as a comfort food. This lentil soup has a distinctly eastern flavor with the addition of cumin and red pepper flakes. Greek yogurt and pomegranate seeds offer a refreshing and cooling garnish to this slightly spicy soup.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2½ tbsps. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground cumin seeds
  • 1½ cups red lentils
  • 8 cups water
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup fine ground bulgur
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds


In a medium sized pot on medium heat, place 1 tablespoon of butter to melt. Dice onions and pepper and add them to the pan, and sauté approximately 5 minutes until the onion is caramelized.

Add tomato paste and cumin, and stir frequently cooking for another 2 or 3 minutes.

Increase heat to high. Add lentils and water, and bring mixture to a boil. Add salt to taste. Reduce heat again to a simmer and cook until the lentils are cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Lentils should be soft.

Add Bulgur and continue cooking until the bulgur is tender approximately 8 more minutes.  Soup should be thick and not watery. Add in the mint, red pepper flakes and the rest of the butter. Continue to heat and stir until butter is melted and fully incorporated into the soup. Garnish with yogurt and pomegranate seeds.

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