Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Turkish Red Lentil Soup

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2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
pinch cayenne (or more, if you like it spicy)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tomato, small dice
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1/4 cup white rice
2 carrots, cut in 1/2" dice
6-8 cups water
salt and white pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon, plus additional lemon wedges for serving
yogurt for serving (optional)


Heat the oil in a soup pot over a medium flame. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until softened but not browned, ~5 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, paprika and cayenne, and stir for a few minutes to toast the spices in the hot oil. Add the tomato paste and chopped tomato, and stir to combine. Allow to cook a couple more minutes, until the tomatoes soften around the edges. Add the red lentils, rice, chopped carrots, and water (start with the smaller amount). Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have broken down into a rough puree, the rice has started to lose its shape, and the carrots are very soft, ~45 minutes. Add more water as it cooks, if needed.

When the soup has cooked down, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the lemon juice. Serve hot, with lemon wedges and a dollop of yogurt if desired.