Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Mint

This may sound like a strange combination, but it is DIVINE.  Ever since first going to a Anatolia, a Turkish restaurant, nearly two years ago I have been hunting for an accurate-seeming recipe, and I finally encountered one!  So, after many failed attempts to duplicate Anatolia's Red Lentil Soup this recipe finally succeeded!

  • 2 Tbs olive oil or butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes (drained from a can works)
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, washed and drained
  • 1/4 cup fine grain bulgur, washed and drained
  • 1/4 cup rice, washed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp dry mint
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil or butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute about 2 minutes until beginning to soften and add garlic.   
  2. Add the diced tomatoes and cook about 10 minutes.  Then add chicken stock, lentils, rice, Bulgar wheat, tomato paste, paprika, cayenne, mint, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes.  
  3. Transfer to a blender, and carefully pulse 3-4 times, and pour back into the pot.  
  4. Optional: Serve with additional mint and lemon wedges
  • Red lentils will be found in the international section of the grocery, or at a specialty grocer.  
  • Bulgar wheat can be found at health-food-esque stores, often in the bulk foods section.  Also available at international markets.

Yields 4-6 servings


  1. I made this for the second time today. It was absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for posting it!!!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it!! It's one of my absolute favorites :)

  2. I am so excited about this I don't know what to do, especialy as an ex-Bloomingtonian who loved Anatolia more than anything. Any suggestions for a gluten-free alternative to the bulgur?

    1. Hi!! So sorry for the massive delay in responding-- I've made this recipe using extra rice in place of the bulgar with success. It lacks a tiny bit of the 'nuttiness' but is overall indistinguishable.

    2. What about some finely ground walnuts (toasted) instead of the Bulgar, maybe a couple tablespoons along with a little extra rice? I haven't tried it but it might work for gluten restricted diet.

      Thanks for the divine recipe!



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