Turkish Red Lentil Soup is super easy to make and perfect on cold days to warm you up. Cook everything in one pot and blend them together. It’s that easy! One of the best vegan soups because it is super filling and full of flavors.
If you happen to go to a restaurant in Turkey, you see that there is one soup they always have on their menu: Red Lentil Soup. It is a staple at restaurants. Believe it or not, we can even have it for breakfast in the morning on a cold winter day. With a lot of lemon juice. I don't know a better way to start a freezing day.
If you need a satisfying soup that is not heavy and comes together quickly, this recipe fits the bill perfectly. I can imagine the happy smile on your face when you have a bowl of heartwarming and tasty red lentil soup with lemon. Please don’t leave the lemon out! It takes the soup to the next level.
- Red Lentils: There are several types of red lentils at the market. Well, there is no specific type for this soup. Any red lentil type works fine. The only difference you might end up with is the color. Although all red lentils are orange when raw, some of them result in a pale yellow color while some have a brighter yellow or even orangish color. Other than that, we haven’t experienced any big differences. All red lentils cook fast and perfect for soups.
- Vegetables To Add: We use onion, potato, carrot and garlic to have more flavor. Among these, the only must-have one is onion. Although the other veggies are totally optional, almost everyone uses them in a classic Turkish red lentil soup recipe. Why? Potato gives a little more consistency. Carrot gives a subtle sweetness. And garlic makes it even tastier. This lentil soup recipe is quite versatile and you can use it as a base and make your own twist. Have you seen our Vegan Red Lentil Spinach Soup? Go check it out to learn how we create a completely new soup with this base.
- Spices: The spices in a traditional lentil soup in Turkish cuisine are cumin, black pepper, red pepper flakes, dried mint. As this is a spicy lentil soup, don’t leave them out. You can only leave the red pepper flakes if you are making it for kids.
- Lemon: This is another must in lentil soup. We add lemon juice both when cooking in the pot and when having the soup. It helps all the flavors blend well together and you end up with an even tastier soup.
- Chili Oil Sauce: This is a ridiculously easy sauce made with olive oil(or butter if you like), chili powder and dried mint. You can use it on any soup to have an extra kick. You can top it with a few slices of grilled halloumi cheese to add some more protein into it.
How To Make
The recipe has three folds.
- First, put red lentils, chopped onions, carrots, potatoes, one garlic clove and spices in a large pot. Pour water over these and cook uncovered until it boils over medium high heat. Stir occasionally and remove the scam on the surface of the soup. Reduce the heat to medium low and let it simmer until everything is wonderfully tender.
- Second, remove the pot from the heat and blend the soup well using a hand blender. Put it back over the lowest heat, add in lemon juice and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Third, make the oil sauce. Heat olive oil or butter in a saucepan. Add in chili powder and dried mint, cook over low heat for about a minute stirring occasionally. Two options for using the sauce: 1) Pour it in the pot and stir with a spoon so that the sauce and the soup combine well. 2) Serve the soup in bowls and drizzle a little oil sauce on each.
Is This Soup Healthy?
This soup is not only decadent and comforting but also super nutritious. Lentils are a good source of protein and fiber, that's why it is perfect for vegans. Plus, they have a low glycemic index when you cook them yourself. It might be higher though if you are using canned lentils. Also, it is low in calories. To put it in a nutshell, red lentil soup is a great option for a healthy diet.
Red or Green Lentils?
We love all types of lentils and use them often in our cooking. A classic Red lentil soup is smooth and creamy without cream. We mostly have it as a starter and have the main course afterwards. We sometimes use a combination of yellow lentils and red lentils to make this soup.
On the other hand, a chunky green lentil soup makes a super satisfying lunch or dinner on its own. Have you seen our Spinach And Green Lentil Soup? It's one of our favorite meals.
Can You Freeze This Soup?
If you have leftovers and won't be eating it in the next few days, freezing the soup is a good idea. Make sure it is cold enough before putting it in the freezer. Also, keeping it in an airtight container is important.
A quick note about reheating Turkish red lentil soup: It gets thicker as it waits, so if it is too thick, add a little hot water when reheating.
As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!
Turkish Red Lentil Soup
Spicy red lentil soup with potato, onion and carrot flavors.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Turkish
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 potato, chopped
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried mint
- Salt to taste
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- Combine lentils, onion, garlic, carrot, potato and spices in a large pot. Pour water over them. Cook it uncovered until it boils over medium high heat.
- Bring the heat to medium low and let it simmer stirring occasionally until everything is tender.
- Blend it until smooth using a hand blender. Put it back over the lowest heat, add in lemon juice and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- For the olive oil sauce, heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add in tomato paste, paprika and dried mint. Mix them well and cook for 30 seconds or so.
- Serve the soup hot in bowls with a drizzle of the sauce. You can garnish it with herbs.
When reheating the soup, you might have to add in some hot water because you will see it is thicker.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 197
- Sugar: 1.8 g
- Sodium: 426.7 mg
- Fat: 5.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 29.8 g
- Protein: 8.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Turkish red lentil soup, lemon lentil soup, spicy red lentil soup