Red Lentil Soup with a Spicy Sizzle

Red Lentil Soup with a Spicy Sizzle

8 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 1995

This Turkish soup features a delicious, healthful combination of lentils and whole-grain bulgur. A drizzle of sizzling spiced olive oil gives the soup a final flourish.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 onions, chopped (1½ cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1½ cups red lentils, rinsed (see Tip)
  • ⅓ cup bulgur
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook for 1 minute. Add broth, lentils, bulgur, tomato paste and bay leaf; bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook over low heat until the lentils and bulgur are very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
  2. Ladle about 4 cups of the soup into a food processor and puree. Return the pureed soup to the soup pot and heat through. Stir in lemon juice and season with pepper.
  3. Just before serving, ladle the soup into bowls. Heat the remaining 4 teaspoons oil in a small skillet and stir in paprika and cayenne. Drizzle about ½ teaspoon of the sizzling spice mixture over each bowlful and serve immediately.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Tip: You can replace red lentils with brown lentils; add ½ cup water and simmer 40 to 45 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 218 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 6 g fiber; 33 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 89 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 281 IU vitamin A; 9 mg vitamin C; 35 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 563 mg sodium; 571 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Folate (22% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat

Reviews 8

May 04, 2017
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By: Ced1106
Good stuff. Pretty much a chicken broth soup with lentils. Will make again.
August 21, 2013
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By: Valasca
I thought this recipe was really great. I actually made this in my pressure cooker so I had a flavorful and healthy dinner ready in a flash. Next time (which happens to be tonight) I will double the 'spicy sizzle' as I thought it really took the dish to the next level. It also wasn't quite as hot as I thought it would be so I ended up using more of it than anticipated and I didn't have enough for my leftovers. The husband enjoyed it too and he's a persnickety pain in the butt when it comes to food.
May 17, 2013
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By: jacquelyn
So wonderful , will make again and again !
May 19, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Quick, easy, and deliciious! The hardest part of making this soup is waiting to eat it. For so few ingredients, this soup is full of flavor. Will be making this again. Pros: Simple Cons: May not be any left overs, it's so good.
February 22, 2011
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By: Hoofer
Delicious weeknight soup! This great soup is both delicious and easy to prepare. For such a simple recipe, it has surprising depth of flavor. We make it often! Pros: Fast, easy, absolutely yummy!
October 10, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
This is a wonderful and very tasty soup, will be making again and again... Mary, Valley Springs CA
June 30, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
My husband is Turkish and even he had to admit this was as good as his mom's! Will happily be making this one often :)
March 28, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I love this soup. I lessen the spices a bit and entirely skip the sizzle. Freezes really well into individual portions that I take to work of rlunch. Hearty and Tasty!!!!
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