Turkish Red Lentil Soup

July 20, 2009 at 1:36 am (AMA, Beans, breakfast, B_, Quick weeknight recipe, soup, Turkish)

An old recipe that was originally posted on Oct 3, 2006.

Based on a recipe from the AMA cookbook. I’ve made this soup many times. I particularly like it for breakfast. It’s pretty authentic I think, since a Turkish friend makes a very similar soup, except he fries dried mint in oil before adding it to the soup, and adds some white rice with the lentils.

Heat in a large (3-5 qt?) saucepan or Dutch oven:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil (you can probably reduce this to 1 Tbs. if you want)

Add:

  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, sliced

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften and brown, about 6 minutes. Add:

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1.5 Tbs sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Then stir in:

  • 5.5 cups vegetable broth (unsalted) or water and bouillon
  • 1.5 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped, seeded tomatoes (I used canned diced tomatoes)
  • 1.5 Tbs tomato paste
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until the lentils are very tender and almost completely dissolved, about 30 minutes. After the lentils are cooked you’ll need to add more water (about 2 cups) to achieve the consistency of a very thick soup.

Garnish with fresh minced mint, plain yogurt, and lemon juice.

Yields about 7.5 cups?

My Notes:

I made this today but I ran out of paprika so only had about half the amount. Thes soup turned out less vibrantly red and more brownish, and was somewhat bland. I really like the yogurt in it though. Something about the combination makes even nonfat plain yogurt taste incredibly rich and sweet.

Rating: B (This is a solid recipe that I enjoy.  It’s also healthy and filling and easy to make.  However,  I wouldn’t fight for the leftovers.)

Derek: B (He enjoys it with the mint and yogurt but says it’s not terribly exciting.)

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Spanakopita

August 14, 2007 at 8:08 am (Dark leafy greens, F, Isa C. Moskowitz, Tofu, Turkish)

I love spanakopita. I adore spanakopita. If Derek would let me, I’d name our first born spanakopita. I’ve never tried to make them on my own, however; I wasn’t sure I could bear to see how much butter and cheese I was ingesting in my favorite of dishes. When I saw the recipe for vegan spanakopita in Vegan with a Vengeance I was intrigued, to put it mildly. Derek and I had fun putting the layers together (especially without a pastry brush for the oil), and the final dish looked delicious when we pulled it from the oven. The taste, however, was quite disappointing. Can you say bland-sad-mockery-of-my-favorite-dish-ever? We didn’t skimp at all on the fat, so it wasn’t that we tried to make it too low fat. I think maybe spanakopita without feta is just a no-go. I tasted the “feta” made from tofu before it went into the casserole, and I found it quite bland tasting. I should have known at that point the recipe wasn’t going to be any good. Derek actually said he liked it more than me, having two pieces for dinner. However, the rest of the pan stayed in the fridge all week, untouched, so he obviously didn’t like it that much. I’m not going to bother to post the recipe.

I do have to thank Isa for inspiring me however–I’m now determined to try my hand at making the real thing.

Rating:D

Derek: C

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