Turkish Lentil Soup with Spiced Butter

PREP TIME: 15mins


A soup with a story! This traditional soup is often served to brides on their wedding day and is appropriately called ‘Turkish bride soup”.

A humble and hearty lentil soup with a kick off smokiness and spice thanks to the smoked sweet paprika and Turkish spice, pul biber or Aleppo pepper. Traditionally made with bulgur wheat I decided on quinoa to keep the soup gluten-free.

I love how the soup is finished with a fragrant spiced butter and don’t forget the squeeze of lemon juice before serving, it really enlivens the soup.

Serves 6

Serving Suggestion:

Serve alongside a full cream yogurt and a flatbread.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 30g salted butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste or tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon pul biber or mild chilli flakes (opt)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 200g red lentils
  • 40g quinoa
  • 2 litre vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (and wedges to serve)
  • salt and pepper

Spiced Butter

  • 20g salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the onions, celery and carrots and cook, covered until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomato paste, paprika, pul biber and oregano and stir until fragrant, another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils, quinoa and two teaspoons of salt (depending on how salty your stock is), stir well.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook for 15/20 minutes until the lentils and quinoa are soft. Taste and season generously with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  5. For the spiced butter, heat the butter in a small frying pan until foamy, add the paprika and mint and swirl everything in the pan to combine, set aside.
  6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, top with the spiced butter and serve with some yogurt on the side.
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