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A Spicy, Minty & Citrusy Red Lentil Soup

Living in North East London means there's an abundance of Turkish restaurants on our doorstep. A mid-week visit to one of our locals on Green Lanes was when I first stumbled across a traditional Turkish red lentil soup - a vibrant concoction of spicy, minty and citrusy flavours. It was truly addictive!

It was freezing outside, with the heat of the restaurant's open kebab kitchen steaming up the windows and we sat quietly scooping spoonfuls of soup and mouthfuls of pita bread and hummus into our mouths. As soon as we left, I immediately Googled recipes to try and replicate the delicious experience we just had, and after several trials of various recipes I have finally created "the one!"

Lentils are a part of the Legume family and are nutrient packed providing a rich source of protein, starchy carbohydrate, fibre and a whole suite of micronutrients including Potassium, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, B-Vitamins and more.

Give this recipe a try! You won't regret it ;)


Nutrient Breakdown

(Per Serving)

  • Protein, 17g

  • Carbohydrate, 51g

  • Fat, 8g (1g saturated)

  • Fibre, 4g (13%)

  • Iron, 6mg (41%)

  • Calcium, 68mg (11%)

  • Folate, 58ug (29%)

  • Magnesium, 90mg (33%)

  • Phosphorous, 246mg (45%)

  • Potassium, 785mg (22%)

  • Zinc, 2mg (29%)

  • Copper, 1mg (83%)

  • Selenium, 6ug (10%)

  • Vitamin C, 53mg (133%)

  • Vitamin A, 196ug (33%)

  • Vitamin K, 8ug (7%)

  • Vitamin E, 1mg (33%)

  • Niacin (B3), 2ug (15%)

  • 318 kcals

% RNI (reference nutrient intake) based on adult females aged 18-50


Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1 small red onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp dried mint leaves

  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 sweet red peppers (or regular bell peppers)

  • 1 lemon, zested and wedges reserved

  • 200g red lentils

  • 50g rice

  • 50g red quinoa

  • 2 vegetable stock cubes made into 2L stock

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté chopped onion and sweet red pepper (or regular bell pepper) until tender, about 5-8 minutes.

  2. Add chopped garlic and sauté until caramelised, about 1-2 minutes.

  3. Stir in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and zest of one lemon, reserve lemon for serving. Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper. Allow the tomatoes to cook for 1-2 minutes to soften.

  4. Add dried red lentils, rice (white or brown) and red quinoa (or you have another type of quinoa). Stir all the grains together so the flavours mix well.

  5. Add 2L of vegetable broth and bring soup to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes until rice, lentils and quinoa are tender.

  6. Once cooked, you can use a hand-held blender to puree some of the soup or pour into a processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon.


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