Lemony lentil soup is one of my must order dishes at a Turkish or Anatolian restaurant. The creamy lentils with a hint of spices and herbs and a generous kick of lemon juice are a wonderful way to start the meal. Sometimes this soup can be a satisfying meal in itself, served with some pita bread.
This is my version of lentil soup, inspired by many visits to a handful of restaurants, but using ingredients I had in the store cupboard.
It’s my dinner equivalent of camomile tea – calming, refreshing and nourishing. A perfect antidote to a particularly busy and chaotic workday.
3 fistfuls of red lentils (masoor dal) – I use a handful per person
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium potato, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin-coriander powder
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 bouillon cube
salt to taste
750 mls water (approx.)
1 sprig mint leaves (optional)
a few slices of lemon
2 tablespoon chopped coriander (optional)
- In a pressure cooker, heat the oil. Add the chopped onion and garlic and saute until the onion is pink.
- Next add the chopped carrots, pepper, potato, celery, tomato and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add the paprika and cumin-coriander powder. Mix well.
- Add the lentils and 750 mils of water and turn up the heat.
- Now add the bouillon cube and the mint leaves, if using them.
- Pressure cooker for 2 whistles. Turn off the heat.
- Once the cooker cools, open the lid, add the salt and tomato paste while the soup is still hot. Simmer on medium heat for 3-4 minutes and until the soup is as thick as you like it.
- Ladle into bowls. Add a squeeze of lemon and some more cumin-coriander powder, if required.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and a couple of slices of lemon.
- Serve hot.