Turkish red lentil soup

This is a quick post of a soup that I discovered on Ozlem Warren’s Instagram account which showcases the very best of Turkish food. In keeping with the cost of living crisis we are endlessly being told about this is a simple, frugal meal. What sets it apart is the knob of butter melted in the soup at the end and the pul biber (Aleppo Pepper flakes) infused oil swirled over the top. The potato also adds a creaminess, so don’t go on an anti-carb bender and leave it out either. If you’re vegan omit the butter but it does add an extra lush silkiness to the soup and in these times of economic uncertainty and skyrocketing vegetable prices we need to keep a little bit of luxury in our lives.

Red lentil soup

Adapted from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

  • 250g/ 1 generous cup of red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon of long grain rice (rinsed)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot chopped into small cubes
  • 1 medium potato chopped into small cubes
  • 1.2 litres /5 cups hot water or stock
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pul biber infused olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons pul biber (Turkish or Aleppo pepper flakes)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Extra wedge of lemon juice
  1. Heat tablespoon of olive oil in large pan to medium high heat. Saute onion, potato and carrots for a couple of minutes until onion is translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add red lentils, rice and hot water or stock to saucepan. Bring to boil and skim off froth, reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and lentils are cooked. Add extra liquid if soup is too thick.
  3. When soup is cooked add tablespoon of butter, cumin lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Pul Biber infused oil

  1. In a small pan stir olive oil and pepper flakes together.
  2. Heat over a low heat until pepper flakes infuse the oil

Serve soup hot with a drizzle of pepper oil and a wedge of lemon.


  1. Gary Bagnall says:

    I gather the second onion is supposed to be carrot. Where do you find the Turkish pepper flakes?

    • Sharon Wallace says:

      I agree carrot should be where the second onion entry is! Herbies spices sell good quality Aleppo pepper. Can buy online

    • Oops fixed it!

    • I buy my pepper flakes online at The Essential Ingredient. I use them a lot so I buy the 200g packet for about $11 but they last for ages and although it took me years of leaving them out of Ottolenghi’s recipes until I begrudgingly came to accept they were a pantry staple, like good smoked paprika. (Which I also get from The Essential Ingredient)

  2. This soup is really delicious. Can’t stop making it!

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