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Turkish Lentil Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 18 reviews
  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


This Turkish Lentil Soup recipe is so simple and comforting, and easy to make in less than 30 minutes.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper*
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 small Yukon gold potato, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
  • fresh lemon wedges and chopped fresh herbs (cilantro and/or mint), for serving


  1. Sauté the veggies. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot, and sauté for 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin and Aleppo pepper. Sauté for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.
  2. Simmer. Add the stock, red lentils, potato, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  3. Purée (optional). If you would like to purée the soup, use an immersion blender to purée until completely smooth. Or transfer the soup to a traditional blender (I recommend doing this in two batches, so as not to overfill the blender), and carefully purée* until smooth.
  4. Season. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve. Serve warm, garnished with chopped fresh herbs and fresh lemon wedges for squeezing.  (The lemon juice is essential, in my opinion, so be sure to add a good squeeze!)


Aleppo pepper substitute: Feel free to instead substitute 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika plus a pinch of cayenne, if you do not have Aleppo pepper.

Traditional blender note: As always, be very careful if using a traditional blender.  Hot liquids expand when blended, so it’s important not to overfill the blender (I recommend no more than half full) and to always keep the cap on the blender lid slightly tented open, so that hot air can escape.

Storage: Any leftovers can be stored in sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freeze for up to 3 months.