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Turkish Lentil Soup

Turkish Lentil Soup

This is the soup you can eat anywhere in Turkey--at restaurants, cafeterias, at home, drive-thrus, etc. This is my own spin-off.

Ingredients: 4 generous servings

Red lentils
3/4 cup
Onion
1 small to medium
Carrot (optional)
1/3
Potato (optional)
1, small
Consomme bouillon cubes
1
Salt
a pinch
Water
about 6 cups (1200 ml)
Lemon, chili powder, mint
a small amount each (to taste)

Steps

1. These are red lentils. There are many different varieties depending on where they are produced, but the photo shows some beans I brought back from Turkey. They are plump. In Japan, you can buy them in the export food section of department stores, or at a health food shop, but they are a bit flatter.
2. To prep the ingredients, rinse the lentils. Mince the onions. Peel the carrot and potato, and finely chop.
3. Sauté the onions in oil (not listed). When they are well cooked and translucent, add the water and bring to a boil.
4. Add the consomme bouillon cube, lentils, carrot, and potato, and simmer for 30 minutes on low to medium heat.
5. Strain the soup from Step 4, return the liquid to the pot, and pulse the remainder in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot, then bring to a boil. It should be as thick as potage soup. Season with salt and other seasonings to taste.
6. Pour into individual soup bowls, then squeeze on lemon juice for a nice touch. That is how I love it. It also tastes great garnished with chili peppers, mint leaves, parsley, or croutons.
7. Add tomato paste. No need to mix.

Story Behind this Recipe

When I was in Turkey, you could get this soup anywhere – to the point where you would get sick of it! But now that I'm back in Japan, I miss it. I made several attempts until I settled on this.