Here’s another Turkish recipe. It’s a red lentil soup, supposedly made for weddings, but you can order it at almost every restaurant. It’s healthy, cheap, and DELISH! You’ll get all your fiber in the day you make this. Lentils are so good for you: 1/4 cup of lentils has 7 g of fiber and 13 g protein. Eat more lentils! I’ve seen many recipes for this, but I’m giving you the recipe I saw prepared with my own eyes.
This soup can be made really thick or really watery, depending on the amount of water. If you have added too much water, just wait for it to boil off. I prefer it watery, thick mush soup grosses me out.
The lentil : water ratio is 1 : 1.5 cups
(You can read more about lentils here : http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t–975/all-about-lentils.asp)
The measurements are on the order of big soup/cereal spoon and handful, so there’s a lot of leeway–it’s hard to mess up.
- 2-3 tbsp Safflower Oil
- 1-2 heaping spoons Tomato Paste
- 1-2 heaping spoons Flour
- Water or Chicken/Veg stock/broth
- ~2 cups Red Lentils, hulled and split preferably
- ~2 spoons Dried Mint
- Yogurt (optional)
- Sliced White Onion (optional)
- Lemon (optional)
- Red Chili Flakes (optional)
1. Oil up a soup pot. Add the Tomato Paste and fry in the oil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
2. Add the Four to the Tomato Paste and mix it well–fully incorporate it. Let it cook for a minute to get rid of the flour flavor.
3. Add a little bit of water at a time (~1/3 cup), and mix it well to avoid clumps. Using a whisk helps this process. Before you add more water, make sure there are no clumps. When you feel confident that you’ve diluted the Tomato-Flour paste enough to avoid further clumping, add all the water. Use enough water to cover the lentils by at least an inch, they need to be free to move around and explore each other.
4. When the water boils add the Lentils and Mint, cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked, about 30 minutes. Blend the soup with a hand blender (optional).
5. Add Salt to taste. You’ll most likely need to adjust the seasonings here.
6. There are two ways to eat/serve this:
a. I always eat this with a huge dollop of yogurt in the middle of the soup bowl with chopped white onion.
b. Turks add lemon juice and crushed red pepper to almost every soup. You should have have seen their faces when I asked for yogurt!
What else can I make with this?
As always, with any Turkish food, you eat it with fresh french bread. Ezo Gelin goes great with chicken wings/drummettes, “sauteed” in canola oil and salt. There’s an all purpose relish that goes great with chicken, and as another topping to the soup: thinly sliced white onions, sumac, chopped flat-leaf parsley, with optional lemon juice.
Need some Veggies here?
Make a Turkish salad: 2-3 very thinly sliced romaine, a tomato, a persian cucumber, a poblano pepper, flat-leaf parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, crushed red pepper. Everything chopped up very small, so it resembles a stringy salsa (the string reflecting the romaine lettuce)
Ezo Gelin is usually eaten as an appetizer, or as lunch with some french bread. It fills me up quite well, but if you’re feeding a real man who doesn’t eat quiche, you may want to add a 14 oz steak.