Turkish Red Lentil Soup Recipe

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6 votes | 6040 views

I order this every time I go out for Turkish food. It is an amazingly flavorful and wonderful soup. It's always a little different wherever I have it, but it is always phenomenal. This recipe, culled from 2-3 that I found online, is no exception. It's a bit full bodied, almost like a stew, compared to others I have had. I loved it this way, but if you want something lighter, just add less bulgur. My good friend Peter Fortenbaugh summed up what I love about this soup. I suggested that he break up some fresh mint into bowl, and he responded "I'm already enjoying about 10 new and amazing flavors, but happy to add one more to the mix!"

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 8-10


Cost per serving $1.40 view details


  1. Bring 12 cups of water to a boil and add red lentils and 2 tsp salt. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. While lentils are cooking, put the olive oil, onions, and potatoes in a large saute pan and saute for 4 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the bulgur, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and stir until browned about 2-3 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, and stir for 2-3 more minutes.
  3. Add the contents of this pot to the lentils along with the additional 4 cups of water. Simmer for another 40 minutes or until the lentils and bulgur are soft.
  4. Some recipes recommend that you put the soup in a blender when finished and puree it. Normally, when I have it in restaurants it is pureed. The family recipes do not add this step, and I served it without pureeing. Either way it is equally delicious. If you want to impress guests, you might try pureeing. Otherwise, just serve as is.
  5. When ready to serve, add the lemon juice. You may want to serve with sliced lemon, fresh mint, plain yogurt, or sumac to add after serving, or you can add to each bowl for a beautiful and tasty finish!


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 735g
Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 558  
Calories from Fat 192 34%
Total Fat 21.75g 27%
Saturated Fat 3.04g 12%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 786mg 33%
Potassium 1320mg 38%
Total Carbs 71.19g 19%
Dietary Fiber 28.3g 94%
Sugars 7.63g 5%
Protein 23.36g 37%
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