(Makes 2.5 litres)

1 cup of red lentils, washed and drained

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 potato, peeled and diced

7 cups water

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, finely shredded

 2 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp crushed black pepper

1 tsp dried mint, crushed by hand

 Salt to taste

 1 tbsp butter (for garnish)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper mixed with olive oil (for garnish)

 4 lemon wedges (for serving)

turkish lentil soup.jpg


In a soup pot, combine the lentils, carrot, potato, and 4 cups of the water. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the lentil and vegetables become tender. 

Add it to a blender in batches and set aside in a big bowl.

Meanwhile, in a thick bottom pot, over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onion pieces and cook covered for 7 to 8 minutes or until it becomes soft.

Add tomato paste, paprika, black pepper, and mint. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until fully cooked through.

 Add lentil and potato mixture with 3 cups of warm water. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes over medium-low heat by stirring continuously. Set it aside in a soup bowl.

 Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan, over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon butter. Add cayenne pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it bubbles. Tip it to the soup with a spoon on the serving bowl. Serve hot with lemon optional cayenne oil and dried mint.

The story behind the recipe 

This recipe was passed down to Bespoke Catering chef, Chelsea Abraham, from her grandmother to her mother and then to her capable hands. Here are her memories: "We grew up eating this soup as kids. It's essentially a staple within Turkish tradition, always served with bread or corek (dried bread). I remember sitting at the family table with lots of family and friends. The soup was typically served in winter so eating it conjures up a sense of warmth and comfort.  Dialogue was often in Turkish so for my parents it was just a joyful time.  The table was generous and the room full of energy and love.  Large warm bowls of this delicious soup were served with accompanying bread. The soup is a vibrant orange in colour with the option of dried mint and/or chilli adding extra vivacity. It is truly delicious and so important to my spiritual wellbeing! I add my own touches with influences from Cyprus. My family often added extra dairy in the form of haloumi and also fried onion. Paramount to the success of this dish is a good quality lentil and a good vegetable stock. The ingredients are sourced from our farm land in Camden. We included our own grown vegetables and herbs.


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