This is my go to comfort food when I’m wanting something warm, filling, and healthy.
Red lentils are extremely easy to cook and can be cooked in differing ways. The recipe below involves fresh ingredients, but I’ll also include an easier option for when wanting to prepare it quicker.
Red lentil soup
Turkish style lentil soup.
- 1 cup red lentils Be sure that you have washed them prior to placing them in your pot
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 2-4 cups vegetable stock (or another stock like chicken) see instructions
- 1/4 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or amount to taste)
- 1 teaspoon paprika (or amount to taste)
- black pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- turkish bay leaves see instructions
- cumin see instructions
- 1 large carrot see instructions
- 1/2 cup white potatoes see instructions
- tomato paste or fresh tomato see instructions
Place the red lentils in a colander and rinse. You'll want to sift through to remove debris or damaged beans.
One of the easiest things to do it place all of your dry spices into a small bowl ahead of time.
In a medium pot, add your olive oil and heat it up. Add your diced onions and garlic for sautéing. You can then add your spices and saute with your onions and garlic.
Add your lentils and stock and bring to a boil, followed by reducing to a simmer. I recommended 2 to 3 cups of stock initially, and then add more later on if you feel that you want to change the consistency of your soup.
Cook for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are tender. Continue to add salt and pepper to taste.
You could place about half into blender or food processor and blend briefly but I typically do not. I usually buy red lentils that are split and does not require this step. If you do this step, however, just return the blended soup to the pot with the reserved cup of soup, heat through and serve.
*If you're short on time, or you do not have onions and garlic, garlic and onion powder will be fine. Also, water can be used instead of stock, and you'll can adjust the flavor of soup accordingly by adding more the ingredients to your preference. This is usually my go to when I'm wanting something quick.
**When I want my soup to have more flavor, I typically add three or four Turkish bay leaves when adding my lentils and stock, followed by cooking my soup on low for a few hours, stirringly occasionally. These can be removed prior to serving.
***In addition, there are differing variations, including adding carrots and/or white potatoes that could be chopped and placed in the pot when you're adding your lentils and liquid. You can also add tomato paste or some peeled tomatoes that are cooked when you're sautéing your garlic and onions. There are additional spices that can be used, such as the bay leaves I mentioned, cumin, and turmeric. This is another reason for the range in amount of stock or water.
This is an extremely versatile dish that can be altered based on preference, mood, and simply what your have available in your kitchen.