Hybrid Lentil Soup. No Peoples, it is not half lentil soup, half Van Gogh’s boots. As a matter of fact, there are no boots in it at all. I have been thinking about my own interpretations of certain classic dishes recently. Take this –supposedly classic– lentil soup recipe as an example; it is half straight forward Turkish lentil soup, half Ezogelin soup. Classic lentil soup is not spicy whereas Ezogelin soup is. On the other hand, Ezogelin soup has fine bulgur in it but classic lentil soup doesn’t. My hybrid soup doesn’t have the bulgur but it is spicy. See what I’m getting at?
The recipe below changed and evolved over the years. I used family recipes, neighbours’ recipes, even some professionals chipped in at some stage. And the end result is nourishing, warming and full of flavor. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Afiyet Olsun!
1 cup split red lentils
6 cups drinking water
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried spearmint
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoon salt
Lemon juice to serve
• Wash and drain the lentils. Place them in a large pot –you’ll need that space for your hand blender as things get a little messy – and add water. Bring to a boil. Get a slotted spoon and a large plate ready. Place them near the cooking area.
• When you see foam building skim it with the slotted spoon and drop it on the plate –at some stage during this this process, the foam will get thicker. Repeat this until the lentil is cooked, ready to disperse itself into water and no more foam is building up.
• In a smaller pot, heat some vegetable oil. Add crushed garlic, tomato paste, sweet paprika, cumin, turmeric, spearmint and salt. Stir well. By using a soup ladle, transfer 1 or 2 spoonful of soup into this thick mixture, stir again and pour it back into the soup pot.
• Remove from heat. Plug the electric hand blender in and blend the soup in the pot until smooth. Work from your end of the pot and lift the pot up at the back if necessary. If you don’t have a hand blender, you could use a food processor for the job.
• Serve hot with freshly squeezed lemon, drizzled on top.
Serving suggestion: Serve with extra dried mint or Turkish chili flakes.