Turkish Bride Soup
Baby, it’s cold outside. So very cold, indeed. Which is why we are craving those cozy, comforting, nom-nom-nom inspiring meals that feel like a hug. Enter celebrity chef Annabel Langbein, whose new cookbook, The Free Range Cook: Simple Pleasures, includes soul satisfying recipes like this Turkish Bride Soup. Having recently been in Istanbul, my love of the bright and rich flavors of Turkish cuisine resonates in a deep way – and this lentil soup, layered with lemon and mint, falls right into that category of goodness. This will be your dinner this weekend. It will make you exceptionally happy.
In Turkey this soup is traditionally fed to a bride the night before her wedding to sustain her through the day ahead. It delivers a deeply satisfying flavor but is quick and easy to make. Don’t skip the lemon and mint – they bring the dish alive!
- Heat the butter in a large, heavy-based pot and cook the onions over a gentle heat until very soft (about 10 minutes). Stir in tomato paste, paprika and cayenne and cook for another minute.
- Mix in lentils and bulgur or cracked wheat, then add broth or water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring now and then.
- Remove from heat and stir in the dried mint, fresh mint and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings, including cayenne pepper to taste, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Turkish Bride Soup can be made ahead to this point, kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated when needed.
- When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer. Divide between serving bowls, swirl in a little yogurt and serve with lemon wedges and mint leaves! Serves 6-8.