Excellent vegetarian soup that is delicious and quick to prepare. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish!
Soup is an essential dish in Persian cuisine. So important that a cook is called ASH-PAZ (ASH=soup) – (PAZ=one who can cook). We usually start the meal with soup during the winter months in Iran.
Most soups take a long time to prepare, but this particular soup is quick, easy, and delicious. You can have it as a starter or main course. When you visit Persian restaurants here ins Sweden, they often offer “Soupe Jo” as a starter. That soup inspired me to make the lentil soup I now share with you. The soup can be frozen perfectly and lasts at least 6 months.
I used concentrated chicken stock in the soup, but it’s okay to use vegetable stock instead. You can also use regular bouillon instead of stock – in that case, follow the instructions on the package for how many bouillon cubes you need.
In most soups in Iran, rice is used as a thickener to make it more nutritious; here, I have replaced it with bulgur. If you don’t have tomato puree at home, you can replace it with 250 g (approx.) of canned crushed tomatoes.
The soup is quite “hot” – if you want a milder soup, you can use less pepper and sambal oelek. You need to taste your way. Add the spices a little at a time and taste them until it suits you and your family. You can advantageously have other herbs in the soup as well. For example, if you don’t have mint at home (fresh or dried), you can use parsley or oregano. Let the imagination flow.
As usual, mise en place applies, which means you prepare everything and measure spices before you start cooking. Here I use dried mint – if you use fresh mint, double the amount.
Last but not least – don’t forget to taste all the time and adapt the seasoning to your needs. 😊
|Ingredients for 6 – 8 servings||Spices and seasoning|
|1 – 2 Tbsp oil||2 Tbsp tomato paste|
|1 – 2 Tbsp butter||2 Tbsp dried mint|
|1 pc onion||1 – 2 tsp turmeric|
|1 big potato||1 Tbsp ground red paprika|
|1 – 2 pcs. carrots||2 tsp salt|
|200 g red lentil||1 hefty tsp black pepper|
|100 g bulgur||1 – 2 tsp garde limo (or zest of one lemon)|
|2-liters of water||5 Tbsp concentrated stock. or bouillon’|
|1 – 2 pcs bay leaf|
|1 dl lemon juice|
|1 – 2 tsp sambal oelek|
- Rinse the lenses. Rinse the lenses 3-4 times or put the lenses in a colander and wash it thoroughly.
- Peel and cut the potatoes into smaller pieces. Roughly chop the onion. You can advantageously divide the onion into 4 – 8 pieces. Next, peel and cut the carrots into smaller pieces.
- Measure out all the spices and other flavorings.
- Heat a large pan with a bit of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Then add potatoes, onions, carrots, and stir-fry for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Then add salt, pepper, paprika, and turmeric, and continue to fry it while stirring for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add the washed red lentils. Stir and fry it for 30 seconds.
- Add the water, then add the tomato puree, the ground garde limo or zest from one lemon, and the bay leaves,
- Put the lid on and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Add bulgur and the dried mint after 15 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, puree the soup until smooth using a hand mixer or a blender. You can mix it more or less roughly. Check so that the consistency suits you and your family.
- Then add lemon, concentrated stock or bullion, and some sambal oelek.
Serve it with a dollop of creme fraiche and the bread of your choice. I highly recommend “THE AMAZING TURKISH BREAD.”