It all started with the book Turquoise – a chefs travels in Turkey, from Greg & Lucy Malouf, where I found a super delicious red lentil soup with mint butter. It reminded me of eating at a very nice restaurant in Deventer – The Netherlands , Safak, with my parents and sister.
They always gave you a small bowl of red lentil soup as a starter. I loved this soup, maybe even more than the rest of the dishes on the menu. When I made the soup for the first time, somewhere in the back of my mind I was hoping it would taste the same as the soup from my youth. The first zip brought me immediately back at the table of the restaurant. Wow, the taste resembled that soup so much. I love how the taste of food can be linked to good memories!
Over the last 10 years I have been making this red lentil soup over and over again and somehow it started to live its own life.
The recipe has been changing here and there and this version, I think it is number 10, remained and became a family favourite. So at least every 2 weeks I am cooking a large bulk of this and there is always a stock of this soup in the freezer.
It is usually made with chicken stock, but my version with vegetable stock works out really well too!
What are your childhood food memories?
red lentil soup with mint and lemon
- 270 gr red lentils
- 150 gr yellow onion
- 15 gr garlic 2 large cloves
- 475 gr carrot
- 140 gr potato
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cubes vegetable stock or chicken
- 1,7 liter water boiling
- 1 tbsp dried mint
- 70 gr tomato concentrate
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
rinse the lentils thoroughly under cold running water and drain well
grate the carrot and potato and chop the onion and garlic. Boil the water and add the stock cubes
heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large casserole or soup pan. Fry the onion until translucent, 5 minutes, then add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes more
add the cumin and paprika, mix well and fry for 2 minutes
add the carrot, potato and lentils. Stir well and then add the stock and some freshly ground pepper. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes, lid on
add the tomato concentrate and mint and simmer for another 10 minutes
Use your hand blender or blender to puree the soup. Add the lemon juice tablespoon by tablespoon. You will use the juice of 1 to 1,5 lemons. Season with pepper and salt to your own taste