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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Elle's Kitchen: Lentil Soup

A few weeks ago we visited our Kate at
Purdue University and took refuge from
the biting cold in a Middle Eastern restaurant.
Mr. Wonderful had a lovely bowl of lentil
soup to warm up, I tasted it and asked, "Why
don't I ever make lentil soup?"
Perhaps it is because many years ago I had an
awful bowl of lentil soup, it was bland and watery
and I couldn't eat it.  That stuck with me for years,
if someone suggested lentil soup, I would just say
I didn't care for it...
Last year in Istanbul, I took refuge from the
cold and rain in a funky little cafe that only
had lentil as the soup.  I was so cold I decided
to try it and I was in love!  Read about our
experience here.
3 tabl. extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed & drained
14 1/2 oz. diced tomatoes with liquid
balsamic vinegar
celery leaves, chopped for garnish
salt and pepper
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over
medium heat.  Add onions, celery, carrots
and garlic and cook for 15 minutes until they
begin to brown.
Add vegetable broth, lentils and tomatoes.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-
low, cover and cook for 35 minutes or until lentils
are soft.  Then put 2 cups of the soup solids in a
blender and puree, add this back to soup.  If too
 thick, add some more broth or water.  Season with
salt, pepper and a splash of vinegar.  Serve with a
garnish of the celery leaves.
I found this recipe to be a bit too bland for
my taste.  I added some Aleppo pepper and
kept adding more of a good Balasmic vinegar
to heighten the taste.
If anyone knows how to make a great Middle
Eastern spicy lentil soup, please send me a


1 comment:

  1. I love the Turkish lentil soup (Mercimek corbasi)! I don't have a specific recipe but it is really simple - you can add or reduce the ingredients as you like:

    1 chopped onion
    2 chopped carrots
    Olive oil
    2 Tsp tomato paste
    1 cup dried red lentils
    3-4 cups of water
    spices as you like (Chilli, Cumin, Curcuma, Paprika)
    lemon juice (approx. 2 Tsp)
    parsley or (fresh or dry) mint

    Heat olive oil, add onion and carrots and stir them until they start to get brown. Add the lentils, tomato paste and spices and stir for another minute. Add water and bring it to boil, reduce heat and cook it until the lentils start to crumble away and carrots are very tender (about 20 minutes).
    It is important that you use red lentils, because first, they taste better and second the will get tender within a short time. Puree the soup with a handheld blender and season to taste with lemon juice. If the texture is to thick add water and reheat.
    Serve with chopped parsley or mint and lots of fresh pita bred or croutons (roast small pieces bred, sliced garlic and a hint of chilli in a small amount of olive oil until they are crispy)



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