Turkish Red Lentil Soup

by Julie Kaye, RD

Lentils are inexpensive, keep for months on the pantry shelf, and are full of fiber. This recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients and lots of spices for flavor. Make and enjoy this budget-friendly, cozy soup tonight!

Makes 6-8 servings.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large or 3 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 5 cups of low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • Lemon slices, for serving



  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 4 minutes.
  2. Add the diced carrot and diced potato to the pot. Sauté for 4 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the sliced garlic cloves and stir for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomato paste, cumin, salt, paprika, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne. Stir for 30 seconds and then pour in a little of the chicken or vegetable stock to scrape up the (delicious) bits of vegetables and spices from the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add the rest of the stock and the lentils. Stir and increase heat to high. When the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. (If the soup is getting too thick, add up to 1 cup of water a little at a time.)
  6. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the dried mint. Using an immersion blender or a stand blender, blend the soup till it’s creamy and all the ingredients are incorporated.
  7. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!