Karen Gilman,  of  Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca was kind enough to send me this recipe from the wonderful Turkish meal they served the other day.  This soup is incredible.  Trust me.  It is truly unique and these complex combination of flavors and textures really work.  Yes, the dried mint is just right.  The only thing I changed was that I used chicken broth instead of water or vegetable broth and I added about 1 Tbs. of pomegranate molasses.  This added just a subtle tang that I needed to make it perfect.  Both the pomegranate molasses and the red pepper paste (I used Marco Polo brand red pepper spread with eggplant and garlic) can be found in the international foods section at Wegmans.  And "yes" it’s worth it to get these products and make this soup. Thank you Karen and Dano!

Red Lentil, Bulgur and Mint Soup

serves 4-6

2 tbl virgin olive oil
a large spanish onion finely diced
2 clove garlic minced
2 tbl red pepper paste turkish
1 cup tomato juice
2 tbl paprika
1/2 tsp Turkish red pepper or ground red pepper
6 cups vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup fine bulgur
1 tbl dried mint salt and pepper
 4 tbl unsalted butter
1 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp paprika
  • Heat olive oil; add onion and garlic cook gently over medium heat until soft not brown.
  • Stir in pepper paste, tomato juice, paprika and Turkish pepper. Add lentils and broth.
  • Cover pot bring to boil lower heat cook 30 minutes stir occasionally until lentils blend with broth. 
  • Add bulgur and mint season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes stir occasionally, if soup is too thick add more broth.
To make topping, melt butter over low heat,  add the mint and paprika and stir until mixture sizzles.
Ladle soup in bowl and drizzle topping on top to taste.