Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Za’atar Oil

Adapted from Milk Street

Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Za'atar Oil

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon salted butter (I use 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 medium yellow onion cut into 1/2 inch-dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
  • 5 cups water
  • Kosher salt
  • FOR SERVING
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper (I use za'atar)
  • Chopped fresh mint leaves, to serve (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, to serve (optional)

Instructions

1

In a large saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Once it has stopped foaming, add the onion then sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then sauté for 1 minute.

2

Add the lentils, rice, water and 2 teaspoons salt, then bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. I briefly use an immersion blender to slightly cream up the soup.

3

Meanwhile (if using Aleppo pepper), in a small skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside. If using za'atar, no need to heat the oil.

4

Serve the soup with Aleppo pepper or za'atar oil drizzled over each serving. Serve with mint and lemon wedges.

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