Happy Hanukkah Eve! Well actually it starts at sundown, but the first full day is tomorrow, if you want to get technical.
A few of my very good bloggy girlfriends and I got together to share a fun and delicious Hanukkah menu! Each of us took a different course and created a “virtual” dinner party, if you will. All pareve and vegetarian so if you do keep kosher, you can make the entire meal for your guests!
My contribution to today’s Hanukkah dinner is this glorious Turkish lentil soup. I am so madly in love with this soup and was first introduced to it in Istanbul when we went last year. On our food tour, the host took us to this small tucked away kitchen behind the bazaar. If you blinked, you would walk right passed it. But alas, as we tucked under the markets merchandise, there was a single woman serving up only this lentil soup.
I will never forget this experience because it was so out of the ordinary. We sat on weak plastic chairs on a fold away table and I remember seeing hanging sheets and shirts from the sellers in the market. The lentil soup was served simply in a bland soup bowl and garnished with lemon and lots of freshly torn bread. I remember the smokiness from the paprika and the brightness from the freshly squeezed lemon. The combination is out of this world.
And before I forget….there’s an awesome giveaway today as well! It wouldn’t be Hanukkah without gifts, right? (Giveaway info will be at bottom of post!)
But first check out what everyone else made for Hanukkah dinner!
Appetizer: Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Turkish Lentil Soup
Main: Melinda from Kitchen Tested made a Roasted Jalapeno and Cheddar Strata
Side: Miriam from OvertimeCook made Mac and Cheese Latkes (that’s me!)
Dessert: Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Deep Fried Rugelach
Drink: Chanie from Busy In Brooklyn made Gelt Hot Chocolate
- 1/2 red onion chopped finely
- 1 red bell pepper seeds removed and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 Tb butter
- 2 Tb olive oil + more for garnish
- 1 Tb dried mint
- 1 Tb smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp Turkish red pepper or other red pepper
- 2 Tb tomato paste
- 1 medium sized tomato chopped and seeds removed
- 1 lemon zested (about 1-2 Tb of zest) + lemon wedges for garnish
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 1/4 cup long-grain white rice
- 1/4 cup red quinoa or other quinoa, but black will take longer to cook
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- Fresh herbs for garnish parsley, mint and/or chives
In a large pot, add butter and olive oil and saute chopped onion and red bell pepper until pepper is tender, about 5-8 minutes. Then add chopped garlic and saute until caramelized, about 1-2 minutes.
Next, add dried mint, paprika and Turkish red pepper (or you can substitute regular red pepper and stir spices together in the oil
Stir in the tomato paste, chopped tomato and lemon zest. Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper. Allow the tomatoes to cook for 1-2 minutes to soften.
Next, add dried red lentils, white rice and red quinoa (or you have another type of quinoa, that's fine too). Stir all the grains together so the flavors are tossed with the rice and quinoa.
Add 8 cups of vegetable broth and bring soup to a boil Cook the soup for about 30-40 minutes until rice and quinoa are tender. Taste for doneness and seasoning.
Once soup is cooked, you can use an immersion blender to puree some of the soup for a better texture. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon, olive oil, fresh herbs.
Recipe inspired by The Sultan's Kitchen Cookbook
Fill out the form below to enter our Hanukkah giveaway!