Luxurious Turkish Lentil Soup
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The creamiest Turkish lentil soup you’ve ever had, oddly made without even a drop of cream! This soup is vegetarian-friendly, loaded with veggies, and so comforting. Naturally gluten-free and can easily be made vegan!
Serving up bowlfuls of Turkish Lentil Soup in 100º weather like it’s my job.
Guys. Guys. Guys. This is the creamiest, coziest, warmest, most comforting lentil soup to come out of my kitchen in possibly forever. We’re talking about a veg-friendly soup that contains almost 20 grams of protein and makes for the perfect summer lunch. All you need is a slice of toasted crusty bread drizzled with EVOO and a few rubs of a garlic clove to serve as a side.
Why are we talking soup in summer? This past week 1/2 my family went down with a summer cold and all anyone wanted is warm, creamy soups to sip on to make it all better.
Golden drizzles of delish-us-ness.
What you won’t find in this homemade lentil soup is even a drop of cream, and yet I have the audacity to call this the creamiest, most luxurious Turkish Lentil Soup.
My lentil soup is free of cream, milk, yogurt, and nuts. If you’ve been following the blog for a while now, you know I love adding creaminess to soups with a few tablespoons of pesto because the nuts add such a rich taste to the whole soup.
I’ll tell you what; there’s no pesto in this soup either.
Not only is this soup recipe gluten-free, but it’s also vegetarian-friendly, and with a simple swap of one ingredient, you can make this into a vegan Turkish lentil soup.
Okay, I think I’ve built up enough suspense. This veggie-loaded soup is made creamy with two simple ingredients:
I don’t know what it is, but something incredibly magical happens when you combine yellow split peas or yellow lentils with a big old russet potato. In the magical world of the Instant Pot, the two ingredients get together and cook up for 15 minutes and then it’s as simple as running a hand blender through the whole thing or just transferring it to a regular blender and giving it a whiz. We add the butter in two steps: a couple of tablespoons to cook the onions and carrots and the last two when everything is blended and just about ready to serve.
For my vegan friends, swap the butter for olive oil, it’ll be just as delicious.
Friends, I have to ask. Is anyone else as confused as I am when it comes to lentils and split peas? I mean why so many categories? Why can’t we just call it all lentils, or split peas, or better yet, DAAL? Because if you’re even remotely Indian, it’s just all daal. Doesn’t even matter what kind.
So to simplify, you can make this Turkish lentil soup with yellow lentils or with yellow split peas, which would then technically be called Turkish pea soup but really who even cares! The peas will take a little more pressure cooker lovin’ than the lentils. About an extra 5 minutes worth and really, regardless of whether you use peas or lentils this soup is ??
To be clear, this is a very mild soup that’s easily adaptable to your tastebuds. I like adding a dash of cayenne to the soup while it cooks, squeezing on fresh lemon juice to my bowl and sprinkling it with a handful of fresh garden herbs. <– my parents garden, not my own; I’m a plant killer.
This is my 30-minute soup recipe that requires 15 minutes of hands-on time and makes six big lunch size servings with a solid 18 grams of a protein punch.
The perfect desk lunch for busy weeks and bonus points for not even having to touch the stove!
Summer sunshine in a bowl.
- 4 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 ¾ cups yellow lentils (or 1 ½ cups yellow split peas)
- 1 lb. russet potatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 5- 6 ½ cups of broth (vegetable or chicken)*
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- cayenne pepper
- salt, to taste
- lemon wedges, parsley, etc. for topping
- sauté: Heat 2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil in the instant pot on the sauté setting. Add the onions and carrots and sauté until the onions just barely start to brown, about 9-10 minutes. Add the potatoes, lentils, tomato paste, 5 cups of broth, turmeric, and if desired, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Cover the Instant Pot, hit the bean/chili button and adjust the pressure time. 10 minutes for yellow lentils, 13-15 minutes or split peas depending on how old they are. Once the timer goes off, turn the knob to vent.
- blend: Using a hand blender or by transferring the soup to a traditional blender, blend the soup completely. You may need additional broth to thin the soup out. I ended up using 1 additional cup to blend/thin soup to my liking. But note that the soup will thicken as it sits, to make sure you have a little extra broth or add water.
- Adjust salt to taste and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. You can also add additional cayenne if you prefer spicier soups. Feel free to serve with lemon wedges and tons of chopped parsley. I go back and forth on the lemon wedge, love it with it, love it without it!
is this a good choice for you?
nutritional values calculated using yellow split peas. They are almost the same using yellow lentils – 25 additional calories. (2 more grams of protein, 4 more grams of carbs)
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