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Simple yet robust with plenty of flavor
Milk Street Bowtie Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil

Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil

45 minutes

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Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil

Free

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.

4

Servings

45 minutes

3 tablespoons salted butter
1 medium yellow onion cut into ½-inch dice (about 1 cup)
1 medium garlic clove, finely grated
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup red lentils
2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
5 cups water
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
Chopped fresh mint leaves, to serve (optional)
Lemon wedges, to serve
Ingredients
  • 3

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 1

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

  • 1

    medium garlic clove, finely grated

  • 1

    tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika

  • ½

    teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1

    cup red lentils

  • 2

    tablespoons long-grain white rice

  • 5

    cups water

  • Kosher salt

  • 3
  • 2

    teaspoons Aleppo pepper

  • Chopped fresh mint leaves, to serve (optional)

  • Lemon wedges, to serve

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Reviews
James B.
May 29, 2022
Hardy Soup makes for good lunch
Don't remember why I went looking for this, but making it was a breeze. Most of the time it's on simmer so you can go do other things. My first attempt at making the aleppo pepper oil was a failure so I've not done it much since. But since I mostly make this for myself and have plenty of leftovers, I generally just add the aleppo pepper directly to the soup just before eating (stiring it in of course).
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.

MARY P.

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.


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Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

45 minutes

Ingredients
  • 3

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 1

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

  • 1

    medium garlic clove, finely grated

  • 1

    tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika

  • ½

    teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1

    cup red lentils

  • 2

    tablespoons long-grain white rice

  • 5

    cups water

  • Kosher salt

  • 3
  • 2

    teaspoons Aleppo pepper

  • Chopped fresh mint leaves, to serve (optional)

  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Step 1 of 3

Sauté and cook

3
tablespoons salted butter
1
medium yellow onion cut into ½-inch dice (about 1 cup)
1
medium garlic clove, finely grated
1
tablespoon tomato paste
1
tablespoon sweet paprika
½
teaspoon ground cumin

In a large saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Once it has stopped foaming, add the onion then sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then sauté for 1 minute.

Step 2 of 3

Add the lentils

1
cup red lentils
2
tablespoons long-grain white rice
5
cups water
1
teaspoons kosher salt

Add the lentils, rice, water and 1 teaspoons salt, then bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

Step 3 of 3

Prepare the oil and serve

3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2
teaspoons Aleppo pepper
Chopped fresh mint leaves, to serve (optional)
Lemon wedges, to serve

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper and cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside.


Serve the soup with Aleppo pepper oil drizzled over each serving. Serve with mint and lemon wedges.

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