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Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil

4 Servings

45 minutes

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This simple, yet robust Turkish soup is rich with lemon and tomato. It gets a pleasantly thick body from red lentils, which soften and break down during cooking. The Aleppo pepper is a wonderful addition, lending a gentle heat. If you can't find it, order online or substitute with an additional teaspoon of paprika and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. The soup can be made vegan by substituting olive oil for the butter.



45 minutes


  • 3

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 1

    medium yellow onion cut into ½-inch dice (about 1 cup)


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Carol W.
April 15, 2024
Fabulous flavor, quick and easy.
Full flavor, had all ingredients in pantry! Definitely a do again.
Stephanie B.
March 3, 2024
Greatest soup of all time
Ok maybe it’s because of the large amount of olive oil and butter in this recipe but it is absolutely incredible. My favorite vegetarian recipe from milk street for sure
Sam F.
January 14, 2024
Great soup, easy prep
Delicious full flavored soup, especially with the aleppo pepper oil. It's a delightful and easy to prepare soup that comes together quickly.
Jennifer D.
December 20, 2023
Comfort food
Perfect work night meal with savory flavors and easy to grab ingredients.
Martha T.
November 29, 2023
On my regular rotation
So ridiculously easy and so delicious, I make this soup all the time. The pepper oil is a great addition, but if you're short on energy, this soup is wonderful with just the lemon and mint.
Haley M.

SO good! The first time I made this, I found out halfway into the recipe that I didn't have any tomato paste, so I tried to think what I could substitute that was acidic, fruity... and remembered that I'd just bought a jar of preserved lemons. (I wonder if the pasta al limone recipe inspired that substitution?) I used a half of a lemon -- I'd stick to one third to one half and not more -- and chopped it very fine, and mixed it in. And it was fantastic. (I actually like this version better!) The Aleppo pepper oil is so good. (I've been cooking scrambled eggs in Aleppo pepper oil and calling them my "dinner eggs".) I've discovered so many new flavors because of Milk Street. Thank you for inspiring us!

Paula E R.

This was delicious and substantial! I wanted a green garnish but didn't have any fresh mint. Instead I shredded a handful of baby spinach and tossed it in for the last minute or two, and it became a tasty ingredient.

Maria A.

Happy to see we can now comment on the recipes. I've made this many times and my whole family loves it. I've used olive oil and I've also used ghee in place of whole butter and it turns out great both ways. The Aleppo pepper oil is very good so don't skip it. Even with olive oil, the red lentils give the soup a nice buttery flavor and the smokey Aleppo with the lemon and mint are perfect with the lentils. So easy to make.

Michele R.

One of those so easy to make dishes that it can be ready to ladle into serving bowls in less than an hour after opening the pantry and asking "what's for dinner tonight?" As with all Milk Street recipes we've tried this one is reliable for outcome made as written. Mint garnish is listed as optional, but it really is 'it' as finish element here along with the Aleppo oil and lemon.

Nancy H.

This is a great recipe. So simple to make, and full of flavor. More recipes with short active cooking times! :)

Paula K.

Delicious, easy to make, and loved by the whole family! Didn't have aleppo pepper so I used sweet paprika with some cayenne pepper. Wonderful flavor. Drizzled left over flavored oil on hummus....

MIchael H.

Made it today -- great for work from home cooking b/c it takes so little time to prep. Don't skip on the aleppo oil. It's a perfect accompaniment.

Maria D S.

Best red lentils! I make it often. I use two tablespoons of brown rice instead of white and do not use the mint. The Aleppo pepper is the perfect ending, can't do without it!

Doreen S.

Simple to make and full of flavor. The Aleppo pepper oil takes this over the top. I made Piadina to go with it. Thank you, Milk Street for introducing us to simple but flavorful ingredients and recipes.

Ntianu Y.

One of my new go-to recipes. This soup is easy, hearty and tasty.

Tricia S.

I was half way into setting up prep when I realized I only had half a cup of red lentils. I used French dark green lentils for the other half. It turned out great, and the colors were still appetizing, if not as pretty as the picture. I finally remembered why I bought Aleppo pepper awhile ago -- because I'd been planning to make this!

Christopher H.

Easily one of my favorite Milk Street recipes! Super easy to put together and so delicious. Don't sleep on the Aleppo pepper oil either, it really added a nice zip to the soup. I'm going to be looking for opportunities beyond this recipe where I can use pepper oil, maybe over grilled veggies or something like that.

Jon S.

This has become a real favorite for us, both for its flavor and relative healthiness AND its ease.


Loved it. Made as written, but I accidentally burned the pepper in the first batch of oil, so I made the second batch in the microwave the same way I often infuse oil with garlic. Just stir it about every 30 seconds until the oil is hot and takes on the red color. I made a double batch and I think it was about 3 minutes in the microwave. However, you make it don't skip the oil. It really adds a pleasant zip.

Sharon S.

This has become a favorite. I make the recipe as directed except I use vegan butter and am not a fan of mint so I substitute cilantro. Delicious, healthy and I agree with the others that the Aleppo oil adds a superb flavor profile.

christine d.

We love this soup for a quick and delicious lunch! Don't skip the Aleppo pepper oil, it's a nice finish.