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Turkish Lentil Soup

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Author: Samantha


  • 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