I wanted to try a new international recipe the other day…something different but similar to Indian food. Something that was nutritious, flavorful, and simple, but wonderful! I came across a version of the Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Chard that had a small twist to it and tried to put my own little spin on it.
I am a huge fan of Daal (Indian Lentils) and this traditional Turkish dish was the perfect offset. Although Indian daals are vegetarian and can sometimes be palatable, by adding ground turkey to the dish, it becomes even more scrumptious! vegetarians of course don’t have to add the meat! The recipe only asked for 1/2 lb. of ground meat, but I insisted on adding another 1/2 lb. (What can I say…love my turkey!)
I paired my Turkish dish with my savory Tandoori Chicken!
Turkish Style Red Lentil Soup
Servings: 6-8 servings
Total Time: 1 Hour
1 Lb. Ground Turkey
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Red Onion (medium)
6 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 Jalapeno (diced)
2 Tbsp. Paprika (maybe one additional)
6-8 Cherry Tomatoes (quartered)
2 cups Dried Red Lentils (I did not have a turkish brand of lentils, I used the Indian Red lentils – Masoor)
5 Tbsp. Quinoa (recipe asked for White Rice)
4 cups Water
2 cups Chicken Stock (can use Vegetable Stock)
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
(1 Tbsp. Sumac – recipe asks for this, I didn’t have on hand so I left it out and added 1 Tbsp. of Lemon juice instead)
Put a tablespoon of oil into a pasta pot and saute the onions until they are a little translucent. Add the ground turkey and cook until brown. Remove the turkey and drain it on paper towels. Throw out the drippings that are left in the pot.
Rinse the lentils and go through them to pick out the tiny stones that may be mixed in there.
In the pasta pot, put the rest of the olive oil and saute the garlic for a couple minutes. Add the paprika and stir into the oil. Once the paprika is sauted for a minute, add the lentils and stir until the lentils look evenly covered. Stir in the water and stock for a couple minutes.
Next, stir in the quinoa, tomatoes, diced jalapeno, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Once the pot is simmering, add all the ground turkey in now.
Let everything cook on a simmer for about 30 minutes (may take up to 40), checking it on the occasion to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
Generally, at this point you would take half of the soup and the other half of the meat, and place it in a blender until it is smooth. However, I kept it more coarse. It’s really your choice! Once you decide, it’s ready to serve!