Red Lentil Soup (Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası)

First, let me say that, in general, I am not a big fan of soups. However, Turkish Red Lentil Soup was my childhood favorite. Today, it is still my favorite. This remarkable soup was so warming and comforting in the cold days of winter. That is why I thought this is a perfect time to share this warming recipe since we are in the winter season currently. Although, I better get all my favorite winter recipes going since we only have a couple months of winter in Houston.

Red lentil soup is a Turkish favorite and served in most restaurants. Most households in Turkey consume this soup. This is another simple, yet delicious recipe.

The main ingredient, red lentils have a delicious nutty and hearty flavor which makes this soup so delectable, not to mention their (or lentils in general) health benefits which include but not limited to managing blood sugar disorders due to their inclusion of high fiber and lower cholesterol. Red lentils are a good source of protein, dietary fiber and iron similar to beans.

2 cups red lentils
1 medium onion (chopped finely)
2 tbsp canola oil
3 tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato paste
2.5 cups chicken broth
8 cups water
1 tsp oregano (optional)
¼ tsp paprika (optional)
Lemon or lime wedges

Run the red lentils under cold water and wash thoroughly. Heat the oil and add the chopped onions. Sauté for 3-5 minutes and add the red lentils. Mix the ingredients together for approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, water and tomato paste. Give it a stir. Add salt (adjust to your liking) and cook covered under medium heat. When the water starts to boil, turn the heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour until the red lentils are soft. Sprinkle with oregano and paprika. You may choose to squeeze some lemon before eating. Serve hot.

You may also choose to put the soup in the blender or food processor after it is cooked to puree the ingredients. I prefer to feel the texture of the lentils so I do not choose that method.

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