Red Lentil Soup

What to eat and drink, what not to eat or drink, food preferences, allergies, and (why not?) recipes for Turkish cooking!

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Tavsan
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Red Lentil Soup

Post by Tavsan » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:52 am

It's turning colder here so it is soup season. Have I got a soup for you!
This is a recipe you see in variations in cookbooks (Neset Esren's classic cookbook for example: See reference posted below on page 2) and in kitchens. It is a basic soup you cannot mess up and it only gets better each day it sits in the fridge. :o I make a pot of this on Sunday during soup season and it usually lasts most of the week. It is a great lunch or evening soup. Easy to make and delicious. Still you can make this for a fairly fancy dinner course and people will still rave over it.

All that you require is

1 cup of red lentils (use the red ones and those grown in Turkey if you can find them. Sometimes Indian food stores will carry red Turkish lentils)

3 cups of beef broth

Bring the beef broth to a boil in a medium sized soup pot and stir in the lentils and 1 cup of water. If it doesn't look like there is enough liquid add more water.

You want to cook the lentils until they soften and cook thoroughly and that can take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes

On another burner

Dice 1 medium onion or place it in a food processor and whirl it into fine oblivion. :shock: The smaller the pieces of onion the better the soup!

Place the onion and either three tablespoons of butter OR an equal amount of olive oil in a skillet and sautee the onion for three or four minutes until the onion begins to soften. Here you can add a little crushed red Turkish pepper if you so choose. It makes the soup a bit zesty but trust me it's good. Once the onions have cooked and are softened add two or three tablespoons of flour to the onions

Add 2 cups of tomato juice to the onion and butter mixture and allow the flour to thicken it.

After the lentils have thoroughly cooked combine the thickened tomato juice and onions with the lentils in soup pot containing the lentils.

Now you are free to add a bit of black pepper right before serving. The soup should look like a thick tomato soup but it won't taste anything like a bland tomato soup.

I serve this with cornbread muffins on the side.

This is our favorite soup and we hope it can be yours too.

Afiyet Olsun!

Tavsan
Last edited by Tavsan on Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:04 am, edited 4 times in total.


Much2CnDeu
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It was a hit!

Post by Much2CnDeu » Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:16 pm

Dear Tavsan,

I had a group of friends over last night and made a Turkish dinner. The first course was your lentil soup with fresh-baked Turkish bread. It was so good!! And reminiscent of meals in Turkey. I wish you could have heard the remarks. Friends asked for recipe, even the men!

The lentil soup was made a day in advance and more pepper flakes were added, as I like some kick. Best of all, there is a 1/2 pot of soup for the rest of the week.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! It was a hit at dinner last night.

steve
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Post by steve » Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:44 pm

Okay - sounds good! I just need a UK translation. For beef broth, did you make it, buy canned or use stock cubes? Also for tomato juice, was that from fresh crushed or a tomato juice drink?

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Post by carrie » Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:47 pm

Hi all yes what a lovely recipe !!!! Just a tip I make my red lentil soup a bit differently if you are interested in trying this.

I cook the lentils, 1 med size grated potato, 1 grated carrot, 1 med. finely chopped tomato, and half a diced onion. This way I also get the veggies in ( especially for the kids ) I have even tried this with a bit of celery.

Then after everthing is well cooked I put it through a electic hand blender ( Braun hand mixer ) until completly mixed and not lumpy.

In a separte pot I add a bit of cooking oil until heated and then one table spoon of tomato paste. Mix this well together over a medium heat and a bit of water.

Then add this mixture to the lentils and mix until it boils.

My secret is that I do not use flour because the potatoes with thicken it up. I know mine is not the traditonal red lentil soup like the restaurants but with a difference.

Afiyet Olsun! 8)

Much2CnDeu
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Post by Much2CnDeu » Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:57 pm

Hi Steve -

Homemade beef stock is best, but it's time-consuming especially given the quantity I needed. I used canned beef stock. And the same for the tomato juice. A fresh tomato puree would be great, but I bought tomato juice.

I was worried at first ... but had a house full of people last night and five appetizers to prepare in addition to a four-course dinner. I had to save time wherever possible. The soup was good!

If you can get it, buy fresh baked Turkish bread(!). So good! I had feta and olives on the table, as well, and people were oooo'ing and ahhhh'ing.

Much2CnDeu
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Post by Much2CnDeu » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:11 pm

Carrie,

Your recipes sounds really good, too!! That will be the next one.

And fwiw, I made lamb kofte as an appetizer and asked some Turks to taste test. "Good, but needs to be cooked more." ??? It was fully cooked, but I thought about it.

They meant that it should be more dense/solid like the kofte in Turkey (of course). I inlcuded lots of onion, garlic, and a generous dash of cayenne to the recipe, but kept them lighter and more chewy. The onion sweetens when seared during cooking, adding flavor. I guess that's a regional preference.

Al
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Post by Al » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:27 pm

You might try running the meat through a food processor until it's almost like a paste. That a standard practice for making gyro meat.


[quote="Much2CnDeu"]Carrie,

Your recipes sounds really good, too!! That will be the next one.

And fwiw, I made lamb kofte as an appetizer and asked some Turks to taste test. "Good, but needs to be cooked more." ??? It was fully cooked, but I thought about it.

They meant that it should be more dense/solid like the kofte in Turkey (of course). I inlcuded lots of onion, garlic, and a generous dash of cayenne to the recipe, but kept them lighter and more chewy. The onion sweetens when seared during cooking, adding flavor. I guess that's a regional preference.[/quote]

carrie
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Post by carrie » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:32 pm

Hi Much2CnDeu,

MMMM that sounds yummy too !!!! One thing that the turks use a lot in meat dishes is oregeno, and bay leaves. Luckily for us all of ours are home grown since Cirali is full of different types of oregeno and the forests are full of bay leaves. We collect them ourselves !!! Actually my mother-in-law is the specialist in oregeno.

Much2CnDeu
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Post by Much2CnDeu » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:35 pm

A meat processor - that would do the trick!

I didn't want to replicate the kofte I had in Turkey, as I found it a little on the hard and dry side ... and thus my adaptation to the recipe. :wink:

steve
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Post by steve » Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:48 am

Another quick one. Tomato juice, or puree. over here we drink tomato juice, but puree is a bit like toothpaste (in consistency).


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