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Red Lentil Soup with a Spicy Sizzle

  • 25 m
  • 50 m
Patsy Jamieson
“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

    • 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

Directions

  • 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.
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