Turkish Lentil Soup is a traditional Turkish dish that is super healthy and very easy to make! It is often served as a starter, but can also be enjoyed as a main dish with crusty bread. Add a pinch of red chili flakes and a squeeze of lemon to enjoy this delicious Mediterranean soup!
I simply love that this Turkish lentil soup is packed with flavor and has a very Mediterranean taste. If you’ve been to Turkey, then you probably already know how amazing this lentil soup tastes! And if you haven’t, you should totally try this recipe. It is loved by anyone who tries it. So next time you need a comforting and warming bowl of soup, consider making this one! You will love it.
To make this delicious Turkish lentil soup, you need following ingredients:
- Red lentils.
- Potato (optional). Every Turkish family makes their lentil soup a bit differently. Not everyone uses potato for their lentil soup, so you can decide if you want to add it or not.
- Chicken bone broth or stock.
- Red pepper paste. Red pepper paste is a key ingredient in many Turkish and Mediterranean recipes. You should be able to find it in a Turkish or Arabic grocery store. If you can’t find it, then just use tomato paste. It has a different flavor, but will work equally fine!
- Olive oil.
- Lemon and red pepper flakes (optional). Turkish lentil soup is usually served with a lemon wedge and some red pepper flakes. I totally recommend this, especially the lemon. It tastes so much better this way and is just part of the Turkish soup experience!
As you can see, you really don’t need any fancy ingredients to make Turkish lentil soup. But don’t underestimate what these basic ingredients can do if you throw them all in a pot and blend them. They seriously make a mighty delicious soup, trust me.
How to make Turkish lentil soup
Let’s get into the most important part of this post: making a crazy delicious and warming soup! This recipe is super easy and absolutely fool-proof. You just need to follow these steps:
- Sauté the veggies: Add some olive oil to a pot and heat the pot. Then sauté the veggies in the pot shortly. Next, add the red pepper paste and sauté everything a few more minutes.
- Let the soup simmer: Add the red lentils, chicken bone broth and spices to the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and let everything simmer for 15 minutes.
- Blend: Use an immersion blender to blend everything.
- Enjoy: Serve the lentil soup with lemon wedges and red pepper flakes.
Sometimes all you need to make a healthy, filling and delicious meal is some basic ingredients and four easy steps.
More tips for you
- Make the soup vegetarian/vegan: This soup is traditionally made with a homemade chicken stock. If you want it to be vegetarian and vegan, just use a vegetable stock to make this recipe. I sometimes do this and it tastes great!
- Adjust the amount of red pepper paste/tomato paste: There is no right or wrong way when it comes to using red pepper paste in this recipe! My mom loves to use a lot more pepper paste than I do. It really is a matter of taste. But I feel like the amount stated in the recipe is what you would usually get in Turkey (and how I love it the most). So try out using more or less red pepper if you feel like it.
- Make a large batch of this soup: This soup is great for meal prep! The reason: the soup tastes even better on day 2! Plus, it is super easy to make a large pot of soup and then keep it in the refrigerator or freeze it.
More Mediterranean recipes
- Turkish Menemen
- Batata Harra (Spicy Potatoes)
- Kisir (Turkish Bulgur Salad)
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Turkish Lentil Soup
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 potato optional
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 5-6 cups chicken bone broth or stock alternatively: vegetable stock
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp red pepper paste alternatively: tomato paste
- salt & pepper
- lemon wedges and red pepper flakes for serving
- Preheat a pot with the olive oil using medium heat.
- Cut the onion, carrot and potato (optional) into smaller pieces. Sauté them in the pot shortly, then add the red pepper taste and sauté a few more minutes.
- Add the red lentils, chicken bone broth and spices to the pot. Cover the pot and let everything simmer for 15 minutes until the ingredients are soft.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it is creamy. Add more bone broth or water if you prefer a less thick soup. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
- Make it vegetarian/vegan: This recipe is traditionally made with a chicken stock, but you can substitute it with vegetable stock to make it vegetarian and vegan.
- You can add more red pepper paste or skip it completely! Everyone does this differently, so adjust the exact amount to your taste.