One of our favourite restaurants has really good Turkish-style red lentil soup (known as “Kirmizi Mercimek Çorbasi” in Turkish). I wanted to see if I could make it at home, so I started looking up recipes online! There are a lot of recipes out there, and no two lentil soups are the same. I picked what sounded good out of about 4 different recipes and scaled it down so I could make it all in a humble $10 rice cooker, and it turned out fantastic!
If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock and it will still turn out savoury and delicious. This is a low-fat, high-protein soup, perfect for a cold winter day, and the lemon juice garnish will have you begging for more. It is a hearty meal when served with pita bread, naan, or your favourite flatbread. This soup can also be made wheat/gluten-free by omitting the flour.
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 tablespoons butter or oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 small/medium onion, diced finely
1 small potato (around the size of a tennis ball), diced finely
1 medium carrot, diced finely
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chicken stock concentrate
6 cups water
Salt, pepper, lemon juice, and paprika to taste
Melt the butter in a pot and then add the garlic and flour, cooking for a minute or two. Add the onion, carrot, and potato, and saute for a few minutes, then add the chicken stock concentrate, lentils, and water. Cover the pot and let everything simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the lentils are falling apart. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor, puree the soup until it reaches a smooth, creamy texture. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and a few squirts of lemon juice.