Turkish Lentil Soup with Baby Spinach

By • March 8, 2010 • 17 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a traditional Turkish Lentil Soup. I had this soup when I visited the mystical ancient city called Constantinople also known as Istanbul. I rememeber it was a chilly evening in October, we were walking around in the historic neighborhood of Sultan Ahmet. We walked into a very cozy little restuarant & we insisted if we could sit on the rooftop section of the restaurant with a gorgeous view of the Blue Mosque in sight! Everytime I make this soup, it takes me back to Istanbul! onetribegourmet

Serves 4-6

  • 5oz packets Organic Spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced Garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped Carrots
  • 1/4 cup Red Lentils
  • 2 tablespoons Bulgur Wheat
  • 4-6 cups Organic Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 2 teaspoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 sprig Fresh Italian Parsley
  1. Sauté chopped onions & minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Add chopped carrots; let the carrot cook for few minutes. Add red lentils & bulgur wheat & sauté some more. Add the chicken stock. Add tomato paste & stir well. Add sumac, paprika, salt & pepper. Let the soup simmer on low heat for 30-40 minutes until lentils & the bulgur wheat are tender. Serve hot with freshly squeezed lemon juice & chopped fresh parsley!
Jump to Comments (17)

Tags: dinner for two, Healthy, hearty, Turkish, Vegetarian, winter

Comments (17) Questions (1)


6 months ago Tarragon

I made this with French green lentils and chard. All else the same. Loved it. It was a great excuse to use medium-grind bulgur, which was perfect.


almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This turned out great, even without the paprika. I had some thyme on hand, so I threw some in. I didn't have any wheat bulgur, but used whole wheat couscous, which worked well. The soup tasted better the next day, as soups and stews always do, and today (two days later) I stirred a couple big spoonfuls of my first batch of homemade sauerkraut of the season into what was left. Not very Turkish, I admit, but wow, it was delicious. ;o)


over 2 years ago Synky

Amazing soup!!! Everyone wanted more.....even the 4 year old! I really liked the combination of everything, also gave me a reason to find and try sumac (actually discovered a Turkish/ Azerbajani grocery store). I think next time I would double the lentils out of personal fondness for them. But yes, great soup, even better the next day!


over 3 years ago SerenaH

Easy to make and a big hit with teenagers and adults. Served it with cornbread.
i didn't have any Bulghar, so I substituted cous-cous and I also cut up and added chicken from a Whole Foods cooked chicken. Thank-you


over 3 years ago linklau

Delicious! I had everything in my pantry to make this soup except the sumac. I substituted a bit of Penzey's Turkish Seasoning, which I received as a sample. It has sumac in it. My husband declared this soup to be "soothing". I think I'll order some sumac and try this again. It is hearty and filling, perfect thing to make a big batch of at the start of a busy week.


over 3 years ago crenkat

You've traveled so much and post so many interesting Middle Eastern/Turkish recipes, I wondered if you knew how to make Turkish Delight (lokum)? I'm looking for centerpiece and recipe ideas for a luncheon spotlighting Turkey.


almost 4 years ago kamelia

Very hearty and filling! I loved the addition of lemon and parsley at the end, it really made the soup. Even better the second day...!


almost 4 years ago onetribegourmet

Thanks Kamelia! I love this soup too....especially the next day! :)


over 4 years ago AlexandraD

At which point do you add the spinach?


over 4 years ago onetribegourmet

Alexandra..this is embarassing...I forgot to post when to add the spinach. :-0 I added the spinach after I saute'd the carrots for few minutes. At that point you can add the chopped baby spinach & saute it for a minute. I hope that helps. :)


over 4 years ago dymnyno

This looks and sounds delicious!! I am going to try it soon. I think that Istanbul is one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in the world. The opulence of the Ottoman Empire and the starkness of today's Muslims is so striking !


over 4 years ago onetribegourmet

Thank you! Please let me know how the soup turns out for you! :)


over 4 years ago onetribegourmet

Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes bulgur wheat makes this soup more substatial, alomost like a one-dish meal.


over 4 years ago testkitchenette

I love lentil soup and this looks nothing short of amazing!


over 4 years ago onetribegourmet

Thank you so much for your kind words!


over 4 years ago HaikuTofu

This looks absolutely gorgeous. I love lentils- they are always tastier than I expect. The bulgar wheat must add a nice chew to this soup as well.


over 4 years ago onetribegourmet

Thank you so much!