Posted by Megan | Dinner, Global, Middle Eastern, Soup

We have a lot of new kitchen toys. A lot. So many, that it’s mind-boggling to keep up with them each time we cook! This recipe featured:
-new Le Creuset dutch oven (and a Wolfgang Puck one, not featured here, but also new and exciting!)
-new Turkish cookbook from our favorite Turkish family, the Kiran’s
-new onion chopper
-new cutting boards
-new Pampered Chef measuring pour cups
-new wooden utensils
-new pinch pots
-new plates/bowls

See what I mean? A lot of new toys (and this is only some). All the fun! We feel so spoiled by all the outpouring of love from our friends and family and our kitchen is certainly happier for it. I think I hadn’t realized how far the blog has impacted with those we know and love, because people really went nuts with an outpouring of fun kitchen gadgets because I think they knew we would use them, no matter how bizarre they may be! So many thanks and much love in return, friends.

Now this recipe was the first from our new Turkish cookbook from our dear friends, the Kiran’s. Knowing that we love Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, they supplemented our cookbook collection with a personal touch of a Turkey-specific cookbook, knowing that we would be intrigued and game for trying these recipes! We immediately recognized the author because she has recipes in our larger Middle Eastern cookbook, so we knew we already liked her work. Eager to try cooking some authentic Turkish food, I selected a recipe that looked straightforward enough that I could make it, without having to drive all over Hampton Roads/Richmond to get the ingredients I needed. We did the best we could, but we lacked fenugreek for this first go-round of this soup. I ultimately found some ground fenugreek in Richmond several weeks later, so we plan to make this again with all the spices necessary. But other than that, this was a great introduction into Turkish cooking that was perfect for our unusually cold winter evenings we’ve been having!

Cooking Notes: As previously mentioned, we had to skip on the fenugreek the first time we made this, simply because no matter where we went in Williamsburg (every single grocery store), we couldn’t find it. We also didn’t use lamb or beef scraps like it called for, because we didn’t have any on hand and didn’t want to change our recipe list for the week just to have some on hand! Some of the spices also called for them in seed form to be crushed, but we just had the already ground spices to use.

Kırmızı mercimek çorbası (Turkish Spicy Red Lentil Soup adapted from Classic Turkish Cooking; serves 4-6)
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 tbsp ghee
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground fenugreek
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
3 oz. red lentils, washed
2 pints beef stock
2 dried chilies
Fresh ground S&P
Small bunch of parsley and mint, freshly chopped
Plain Greek yogurt, for serving

Brown the onions and carrot in the ghee. Stir in the spices and garlic, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, sugar and lentils, then pour in the stock. Stir well and bring the liquid to a boil. Pop in the chilies, cover the pan and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have pulped up and thickened the soup. Remove the chilies and season to taste. Swirl in half the shopped herbs then sprinkle the rest over the top. Serve with yogurt and bread and enjoy!


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