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One of my favorite food when I lived in Turkey. The taste of this red lentil soup brings back to me the memories when I lived  Istanbul, Antalya. You can make this soup weekly and refrigerate it and take it out every time you felt like a light dinner. Besides the method below I know a quick way where you can boil all ingredients without the spice and oil. Beat them in the mixer, bring them back to the cooker add the spice oil etc ... and cook for about 5 minutes. If you want to make it like a pro follow the recipe below. Enjoy! 


For the Soup:
1 cup red lentils
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 heaping Tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dried mint
½ teaspoon thyme or oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (Turkish pul biber is great if you can get it)
8 cups water
4 teaspoons vegetable broth powder, or replace 4 cups of the water with 4 cups of a prepared vegetable broth
½ teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste, depends on the saltiness of your broth)

For the Paprika Oil:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes


Pick through your lentils for any foreign debris, rinse them 2 or 3 times, drain, and set aside.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the olive oil and the onion with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and sauté for another 3 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir it around for around 1 minute. Now add the cumin, paprika, mint, thyme, black pepper, and red pepper and sauté for 10 seconds to bloom the spices. Immediately add the lentils, water, broth, and salt. Bring the soup to a boil.

After it has come to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover the pot halfway, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils have fallen apart and the carrots are completely cooked.

In the meanwhile make the paprika oil by swirling together the olive oil, paprika, and red pepper in a small sauce pan over medium heat. The moment you see the paprika starting to bubble, remove the pan from the heat. It's done.

After the soup has cooked and the lentils are tender, blend the soup either in a blender or simply use a hand blender to reach the consistency you desire. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Serve the soup with a drizzle of paprika oil, wedges of lemon, and extra mint and red pepper for everyone to customize to their taste.


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