This delicious and refreshing Turkish style red lentil soup is perfect for a weekday vegan meal or to prep ahead. You can bring it to the office in a jar or container and just warm it up in a microwave whenever needed. It’s loaded in fibre and contains only 206 calories per serving. It is also low on carbohydrates, so if you want to have more energy and add some good quality carbs then it goes very well with some low calorie, gluten free sesame pasta! Your personal trainer will be thankful too for consuming this healthy and low calorie soup for sure! :)
Why you might want to eat more red lentils by the way? That's because red lentil is considered to be a super-food! That's right! You don't need to purchase expensive supplements, it's right there around the corner for a fraction of the cost! They are cheap and widely available across all over Malaysia. Red lentils are a fantastic source of plant-based protein and fibre. Furthermore they are also an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Not even a personal trainer could ask for more!
What I like about red lentils the most is that whenever I plan to cook them I know I’ll find them ready stock in any of the shops nearby. The best thing about them: you're nearest grocery shop will probably always have them on stock! Even during MCO time in Malaysia, it was one of the 'safest' ingredient to put on my shopping list! Most of the time I don’t even need to go to a major supermarket and queue for long to get them.
You don't need to soak them overnight and you can cook them very fast! You see, they’re just perfect to cook something fast during the weekdays, when you have limited time. And the leftover portions are just as delicious as the fresh ones. Adding fresh herbs separately right before consuming will greatly improve the taste, but if you cannot find fresh mint for example, you can always use a teaspoon of dried mint instead!
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sized yellow onion chopped
2 medium sized carrots
4 - 6 cloves of garlic
1 box of cherry tomatoes (≈ 275 grams)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup of red lentil washed through a couple of times in running cold water
5 cups of homemade vegetable stock (you can use store bought too or even plain water!)
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper (optional)
Herbs and spices:
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika (get some Hungarian if possible, nothing can beat it!)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chilli powder (add more if you like it spicy)
Fresh chopped mint leaves (picked from 2-5 stems - keep some fresh to add before serving if can)
Prepare and cut all the ingredients, wash the lentils.
In a medium saucepan heat up the olive oil then add the chopped onions and carrots, about 3-5 minutes.
When the onions are translucent add the garlic and fry until fragrant, about 10-20 seconds.
Add the dry spices and herbs and fry them for another 10-20 seconds, stirring continuously.
Add the tomato paste and stir.
Add the chopped cherry tomatoes and cook for a minute or two until soften.
When the tomatoes have soften a bit add the lentils, stir then add the stock.
Bring it to boil, then turn down the heat and simmer it for about 10-15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.
Skim the foam off that comes to the surface.
When the lentils are cooked, add the fresh mint leaves, stir it and cook for another minute then turn off the heat.
If you’re using a hand blender, you can blend the soup straight in the same pot to your desired texture.
If you’re using a counter top blender then let the soup cool for a while before proceeding to blend it.
Adjust the taste, with salt, pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Add fresh mint leaves before serving.