Turkish (ish) Red Lentil Soup

Growing up, I never heard of red lentil soup. It wasn’t until I met some Turkish friends in college that I discovered the delight of this comforting and healthy soup.   Although this recipe is simple and requires only a few ingredients, it is actually one of my favorites and a staple in our house.  Lentils are an excellent source of protein, folate and fiber.  Herbs, especially oregano, not only add a delectable favor but are also a powerful source of antioxidants.

I call this Turkish (ish) since I omit the traditional element of spicy pepper, something I’ve never developed the tolerance for.  For those of you who love some heat, add a healthy dose of hot pepper at the end- it’s good for you!

1 medium onion

2 carrots

1 ½ tsp of salt (add more to taste at the end)

1 tbs of tomato paste

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp of dried oregano

1 tsp of dried mint

1 cup of red lentils

6 cups of water

Chop the onion and carrots into ½ inch or smaller pieces.  In a large soup pot, sauté the onion in olive oil for about 5-10 minutes over medium heat until its starts to turn golden and translucent.  Add the carrots and the salt and cumin and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Mix in the tomato paste and stir.  Wash the lentils and add them to the pot along with the water.  When the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat and cover for 25 minutes.  Blend with an immersion blender or conventional blender and adjust salt to taste.  Sprinkle the oregano and mint after blended and stir.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Serves:  6