Friday, December 11, 2009

Red Lentil, Bulgur and Mint Soup

At our restaurant, we make six different soups from scratch every day.  David spends the morning tasting and refining each soup, a lengthy process, so he is totally sick of soup by the time he comes home.  This means we rarely cook soup at home even though we both love it.  Last night, the cold weather persuaded David to make an exception and the results were spectacular.  This Turkish soup was so good, in fact, that we may try to adapt it to make the large quantities required for the restaurant.  So perhaps, coming soon to a restaurant near you...

Red Lentil, Bulgur and Mint Soup
adapted from The Sultan's Kitchen by Ozcan Ozan
serves 4


2         Tbs         olive oil
2         Tbs         unsalted butter
1                        onion, diced
2                        garlic cloves, minced
2         Tbs         tomato paste
1                        tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
2         Tbs         paprika
1/2      tsp          ground red pepper
1 1/2   cups        red lentils
1/4      cup         long-grain white rice
6         cups       vegetable stock
1.4      cup         fine-grain bulgur
1         Tbs        dried mint
                         salt and pepper to taste

2         Tbs       unsalted butter
1         tsp        mint
1/2     tsp         paprika

  1. Heat olive oil and butter in sauce pan over medium, and saute onions and garlic until soft but not brown.  Add tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, paprika and red pepper and stir.  Add lentils, rice and stock.  Cover and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook until rice is cooked and lentils have broken down, about 35 minutes.  Add bulgur and mint, season with salt and pepper, and cook until bulgur is done, about 10 minutes.
  2. While soup is cooking, make the topping by melting butter over low.  Add mint and paprika and stir until the mixture sizzles.  Drizzle on top of each bowl of soup.


  1. You know, I have a giant bag of red lentils that was given to my DH. This looks like something to make a change from my usual lentil soup. Thanks.

  2. The paprika with the mint must be so nice! Anything this pretty must taste great (and be very good for you, as a plus).

  3. Sounds so delicious. I wonder if I could sub brown rice for the bulgur to make it gluten-free. Yum.

  4. Delicious recipe! I love lentils now! I wish my husband would be inspired to eat them. I think I am getting there. I would like a bowl right now. :)

  5. Gorgeous = Lezzetli
    Yummy = Nefis
    beautiful = güzel
    Tarif = Tarif

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  6. Automatic translation makes explorer version 8...turned first to comment:)

  7. I am a soup fiend when the weather is cold like this (I'm in Seattle). This one looks delish... I'm thinking of trying it out with quinoa instead of bulgur (wheat allergy). Thanks for the fab idea :)

  8. I love my soups. The question I have is what is mint? I'm guessing spearmint which I've never liked the taste of. I grow three kinds of peppermint, but not spearmint. Do you think it would go well with a peppermint?

  9. I love the creamy mildness of red lentils..and that topping looks just wonderful!

  10. Never thought of combining bulgur with lentil. This must taste good!

  11. Six daily soup? I definitely want to eat at your restaurant! This really looks delicious.

  12. Looks like a warm and hearty soup- perfect for winter nights! I would love a big bowl of this tonight!

  13. I love soups, especially during the winter. I make fabulous herbed chicken noodle, leek & potato, and roasted root soups. This soup looks like a great one to try. Maybe it will become part of the rotation :)

  14. Mm! Thank you for the great recipe, I love Turkish food and I love soup, and I love this soup in particular! The picture is very inspiring too! ^_^

  15. I love love love red lentils and make it almost regularly, but never tried with mint before. Thanks for the idea - must try next time!

  16. For me 2009 was the year I discovered (how to really cook) Indian food. 2008 was Vietnamese. 2003 was Thai. In between I had babies. ;) I think 2010 is going to be Middle Eastern. I have been obsessing on it lately and this soup sounds fabulously wonderful and fabulously different. Thanks for sharing.


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