In Turkey this soup is traditionally fed to a bride the night before her wedding to sustain her through the day ahead. It delivers a deeply satisfying flavor but is quick and easy to make. Don’t skip the lemon and mint – they bring the dish alive.
Heat the butter in a large, heavy-based pot and cook the onions over a gentle heat until very soft (about 10 minutes). Stir in tomato paste, paprika and cayenne and cook for another minute.
Mix in lentils and bulgur or cracked wheat, then add broth or water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring now and then.
Remove from heat and stir in the dried mint, fresh mint and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings, including cayenne pepper, to taste, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Turkish Bride Soup can be made ahead to this point, kept in the fridge for
up to 3 days and reheated when needed.
When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer. Divide between serving bowls, swirl in a little yogurt and serve with lemon wedges and mint leaves.
This recipe is from Annabel’s TV series Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook: Simple Pleasures, screening now on PBS. The accompanying book, containing all the recipes from the series, is available on amazon.com http://amzn.to/1GxXv0v
To preview the series go to http://bit.ly/1iKu2FW and for a PBS screening schedule go to http://bit.ly/1JDaUQD.
For more great Annabel Langbein recipes see www.annabel-langbein.com