Red – and green – lentils are a staple of most Turkish kitchens. Add in some smoky paprika and a spoonful of tomato paste to give this vegetarian soup the incredible depth and umami flavor that characterizes Turkish cooking. You’ll fall in love with the dynamic flavors and a lovely mild heat of this dish. Make a big batch of this Slow Cooker Turkish Red Lentil Soup and eat it for lunch with crusty bread the entire week.
Oh, Slow Cooker Turkish Red Lentil Soup, Remind Me Why Lentils Are So Fantastic?
Lentils are a staple of so many diets and cuisines. For starters, they’re gluten-free, virtually fat-free, and low in calories. Red lentils are high in fiber, protein, and packed with Vitamin B and potassium. As if we needed anything else good to say about them, they’re also a good source of iron.
There’s no need to pre-soak lentils, and you don’t need to cook them for hours like other beans. Red lentils are the champion of the last-minute cook’s pantry. Did we mention what a great base they make for soups? Equally, they’re ideal for a slow cooker recipes that simmer for hours.
Variations on this soup
As with all our recipes, feel free to be playful with making adjustments according to your locality, taste, and the season. There are lots of variations on this Turkish Red Lentil Soup. For instance, for stock you can use vegetable stock as we’ve suggested or alternatively, make your own homemade chicken stock by boiling a leftover chicken carcass. If you want to dive deep into comfort food, you could also add rice to this dish.
This steaming bowl of Turkish Red Lentil Soup demands a table filled with all the appropriate toppings. Our suggested fresh mint and parsley, chopped or torn, is non-negotiable; it adds so much fresh flavor. If you can’t source any fresh herbs, dried mint is still better than nothing. A squeeze of lemon goes a long way too. I like adding fresh chili too, or a healthy dollop of plain yogurt!
Mooching through the cupboards and wondering what to eat? As long as the lentils are there and a few odds and ends, you can always rustle something up. We have many more lentil recipes on SkinnyMs. Right now, I’m loving this Rosemary and Lentil Soup as well as this Easy Lentil Vegetable Loaf.
Slow-Cooker Turkish Red Lentil Soup
- 8 ounces red lentils picked through and rinsed
- 7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme not ground
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint chopped
- Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker except for the lemon, parsley, and mint. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours, until the lentils are tender.
- Once cooked, remove about 1/3 of the soup and blend it until smooth in a blender or food processor. Return to the blended soup to the slow cooker and stir. Ladle into serving bowls, squeeze a lemon wedge over the serving and sprinkle with parsley and mint.
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