This Turkish Style Red Lentil Soup is one of my favorites! I love eating this soup on cold nights. It's a very hearty soup, so I usually prepare it as a main course alongside crusty bread for dipping or a healthy side salad. What I also love about this soup is all the rich flavors. I love the taste of red lentils and when mixed with some mint and red hot peppers, it brings such a unique and exotic flavor to this dish. If you are looking for a unique soup to try out, then this recipe is for you!
To prepare this dish, start by washing and draining the red lentils. Dice a medium sized white or yellow onion, then set aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the diced onions. Cook until the onions are translucent. It should take about 10 minutes or so. Make sure to cook the onions on low to medium heat to avoid having the onions caramelize. Once the onions are cooked, add the tomato paste, and make sure to stir it until the onions are coated with the tomato paste. Add water and then add the red lentils, salt, red pepper flakes and mint. Bring to a boil, then cook on low for about 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft. If you are using fresh mint, make sure to save a little as a garnish before serving.
Depending on your preference, if you like a smoother soup you can puree it in the blender.
Serve the soup hot, alongside some crusty bread and/or a healthy salad. To add extra spice to this dish, you can add some melted red hot pepper sauce. Use about a teaspoon of red pepper powder and mix it with a tablespoon of melted butter. Pour this mixture on top of the soup.
This recipe calls for exotic red pepper powder spice that is found in middle eastern stores. It is easily melted in butter and is typically used as a garnish on soups or other dishes. Because it is a fine powder, it is also great to use in marinades. It maybe difficult to purchase this red pepper powder in local stores, but can easily be purchased on-line.
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