Turkish Red Lentil Soup

"Another delectable entry for the Zaar World Tour from the enticing World Vegetarian Cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey. This is simple enough to prepare midweek and comforting as the first cold air of fall arrives."
photo by Annacia photo by Annacia
photo by Annacia
photo by Stardustannie photo by Stardustannie
photo by -Sylvie- photo by -Sylvie-
photo by -Sylvie- photo by -Sylvie-
photo by -Sylvie- photo by -Sylvie-
Ready In:




  • Place the red lentils in a colandar and rinse.
  • Sift through to remove and debris or damaged beans.
  • Place the washed and cleaned lentils into a medium pot with the stock, potatoes, onions and paprika.
  • Bring the pot to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Loosely place a lid on the pot leaving slightly ajar as to allow some evaporation.
  • Cook for 40-40 minutes until the lentils are tender.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place all but 1 cup of the soup into a blender or food processor and blend briefly.
  • Return blended soup to the pot with the reserved cup of soup.
  • Heat through.
  • Serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. pinklepurr
    I live in Turkey and this soup is often served for breakfast! Turks usually serve it with a lemon wedge or two, which you squeeze into the soup just before eating, and a dash of red pepper flakes, (or a lot - depending on your taste). The lemon adds one more layer of flavour and gives it real "zing"! For those who feel something's missing-try it! I made this last night and followed the recipe exactly, except for a little more paprika, and I added a red pepper. Yummy!
  2. Crabzilla
    Oh Toni, slurp, slurp! The absolute simplicity of this lovely, aromatic soup is simply awesome! Here is what I did... I did the prep work (oh so minimal!) last night, and my DH and I had the soup, exactly as you posted, this afternoon, for lunch with some lightly toasted pita bread, Kalamata olives, and pepperocini (on the side). Simply fabulous! There were only two of us for lunch, so for my family dinner this evening, I decided to tweak the soup to make it a more substantial meal, standing on its own. OMG, heaven! I added about 1/2 pound of cubed butternut squash, more garlic, cumin, black pepper, two red bell peppers, a lot of HOT Hungarian paprika (to suit our warped spicy taste buds), some diced shallots, about 1/2 cup cilantro, and one entire medium red onion. I re-pureed all but about 3 cups, and then lightly re-heated. I then garnished it with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, and served it with a simple light salad and crusty bread and butter. To die for! Heaven! Nobody in this family likes lentils, red bell pepper, or butternut squash, lol, period. They never knew what hit them! They ate this stuff up like there was no more tomorrow, not even knowing they were eating lentils, etc. This is such a keeper, such a fantastic Autumn soup. I think that I will serve this fantastic soup as one of my starters for our big Thanksgiving feast! Thank you so much for such a lovely, simple, scrumptious soup, as is...or dressed up!
  3. punkroqsk8rchic
    My family really enjoyed this soup. I doubled the recipe. Just a few tips... 1. I Sauteed the onions with butter prior to adding it to the stock. 2. I added 2 T of Cumin and chopped carrots as others suggested. <br/>I plan on tripling the recipe next time
    We had this for lunch today as the weather has gotten very cold and this hit the spot. I did add 2 diced carrots and, as suggested by other reviews, cumin and garlic powder. Just to pep it up a little I added a small amount of cayenne pepper. I didn't have any vegetable stock so used chicken broth as suggested by another reviewer. My DH loved it even though he usually turns his nose up at Lentils. Thanks for posting.
  5. zeytin
    Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great....just like my turkish mother in law's. If you reheat it later it is often a bit too thick so I find that I need to add more water when I reheat it. Thanks for this wonderful, easy recipe!


  1. glo3288
    I have been making Arabic lentil soup (adas) for years, and finally decided to make it the Turkish way tonight. I added a chopped (peeled) tomato and a little bit of cumin, used water instead of broth, and increased the paprika like others had recommended. It is SO good. My husband loved it too, so I plan on making it this way from now on, as soon as I get an immersion blender!
  2. the80srule
    Oh my stars. I am SO purging all my other red lentil soup recipes from my mind; as I have found THE ONE! I had been trying to emulate my favorite Turkish restaurant's soup for so long and to no avail, trying all these complex methods and spice blends...who woulda thought it was just salt and paprika?! This is it! I LOVE this with a great crusty bread, and a traditional Turkish meze like piyaz and/or sigara bourek. The only things I did different was the addition of carrot, sea salt instead of table salt, and I whizzed the whole pot in my blender as I like it entirely pureed. Wouldn't change a thing otherwise, this will be a staple from now on! Thanks so much for posting this, I am one happy red lentil lover!
  3. canthelpmyself
    this recipes' real strength is in it's simplicity as a great base recipe. Granted I didn't make it to the letter but I think the changes took it to a new level of yumminess and complexity. I used pumpkin instead of potato, added 2 sticks of celery, one garlic clove and 2 bay leaves. After blending it I added some tabasco (hot pepper sauce) which gave it an awesome flavour and a big dash of lemon juice. My husband loved it and we ate the 4 serves between two. Was delicious. Want to put another pot on right now!


<p>I come from a long line of wonderful cooks and doing my best to hold up that tradition. My great-grandparents owned a coffee shop; my Nana was also a great cook and started the tradition of baking around the holidays, both cookies and fruitcakes. After she died, now a decade ago, our family decided to continue in her honor. The picture above is my mother's (Chef Hot Pans) dining room table just before we packed up our Christmas cookie trays. More that 20 kinds of cookies, many of which are from 'Zaar recipes. <br /> <br />I myself am an amateur cook with a penchant for ethnic foods and spice. Currently reforming my menu in favor of healthy dishes lower in fat with lots of grains and vegetables. My favorite cuisines are Mexican, Southwestern and North African. <br /> <br /> <br />Some of my favorite public cookbooks include:</p> <li>ladypit's <a href=http://www.recipezaar.com/mycookbook/book/33588> WW Core Recipes I Have Tried </a> </li> <p>&nbsp;</p> <li>shirl(j)831's <a href=http://www.recipezaar.com/mycookbook/book/34888> Can this really be lowfat??? </a> </li> <p>&nbsp;</p> <li>julesong's <a href=http://www.recipezaar.com/mycookbook/book/30566> Cooking Light Recipes </a> </li> <p>&nbsp;</p> <li>mariposa13's <a href=http://www.recipezaar.com/mycookbook/book/44690> WW &amp; Lowfat Recipes </a> </li> <p><br /><img src=http://members.aol.com/sdnt4life/dpg.gif alt=Dirty /> <br /><a href=http://s10.photobucket.com/albums/a132/tgifford/Game%20Room%20Banners/AM%20Banners/?action=view&amp;current=kitchen-special-hot2-1.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a132/tgifford/Game%20Room%20Banners/AM%20Banners/kitchen-special-hot2-1.jpg border=0 alt=Photobucket /></a> <br /><img src=http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y53/DUCHESS13/Animation1.gif alt=Image /><img src=http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y53/DUCHESS13/4treasurehunt.gif alt=FFF#2 width=50% /> <br /><img src=http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/purplechefhat.gif alt=Image /><img src=http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/projects/chef3.jpg alt=Image /><img src=http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/beartag_1_1.jpg border=0 alt=Photobucket /><img src=http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/adopted_1_1.jpg border=0 alt=Adopted /><img src=http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/permanent%20collection/200_artistrichardneuman-art-prints_.jpg border=0 alt=Photobucket /><img src=http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/permanent%20collection/untitled.jpg border=0 alt=Photobucket /><img src=http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/projects/200_PACpic.jpg border=0 alt=PAC /><img src=http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/projects/pacbanner.jpg border=0 alt=Photo /> <br /><img src=http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y53/DUCHESS13/World%20Tour/ZaarWorldTourFirst.gif alt=/ /><img src=http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y53/DUCHESS13/World%20Tour/ZWT2.gif alt=/ /> <br /><img src=http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y53/DUCHESS13/Zaar%20World%20Tour%203/ZWT3-Participation.gif alt=/ /><img src=http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y53/DUCHESS13/World%20Tour/AnimatedHostChallengeBanner.gif alt=ZWT3 /><img src=http://www.satsleuth.com/cooking/RecipeSwap2.JPG alt=width=50% /> <br /><img src=http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y53/DUCHESS13/cookbookswap.jpg alt=/ /></p>
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