Turkish red lentil soup is an absolute classic that you’ll find in any Turkish restaurant. If you should ever live with a Turkish person for a month chances are high he or she is going to make this soup. What makes it so popular? Two words: simplicity and comfort. Exactly for those reasons it is one of my favourite soups as well.
All I did was add some miso which gives it that certain snap that is often achieved with meat stock. I am biased but I prefer the clear, contoured umami that you find in miso.
If you are going for a thicker soup, water on the surface doesn’t mean that the lentils on the bottom can’t burn. They can because the proteins coagulate and stick to the bottom if you let it cook for too long.
Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Miso (Vegan)
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp miso
- 1 cup red lentils washed
- salt, pepper, dried chilli flakes, herbs
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Roast the onions in a saucepan until they have some colour. Then add the tomato paste and miso. When the smell starts to spread, add the lentils and roast for a minute with a splash of water to prevent any sticking.
- Add 4-5 cups of water (4 will end up in a thicker soup, 5 a bit runny), salt, pepper, dried chilli flakes, herbs and olive oil. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 13 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. I like to add about ¾ tsp salt, 2 good pinches of pepper, 1 ½ tsp of dried mint and dried oregano or other herbs.
- Blend the soup.
- If you want a topping loosely combine a few drops of lemon juice, ⅔ tsp miso with 1 ½ tbsp olive oil (it won't combine well). Add the mixture to the soup with a spoon along with a bit more of the herbs and chilli flakes. Enjoy!