Turkish-style Green Lentil Soup with vermicelli that’s infused with herb pepper-infused oil is a classic vegetarian soup recipe. It’s light yet hearty, pleasantly filling, and warms you up during those cold days.
Green lentils are small legumes that look similar to green beans. They are often referred to as “green peas,” although they are unrelated to true peas.
There are many variations of lentil soup, on a busy night, you can’t go wrong with this straightforward, uncomplicated, delicious Turkish version.
Green lentils have a mild flavor and slightly nutty taste, making them perfect for soups and stews. They are high in protein and fiber and low in fat. In addition to being delicious on their own, they are excellent additions to salads, rice dishes, and pasta dishes.
This soup is packed with rich flavor, and it’s hearty enough to be eaten by itself for dinner.
History of Green Lentil Soup
Lentil soup is a great dish to make when you are feeling under the weather or want something simple yet filling. It’s also a good way to get some vegetables in your diet if you don’t eat meat often.
Green lentils are a good source of fiber, protein, iron, vitamin B-complex and zinc. They are also a great source of folate, a natural B vitamin that helps produce red blood cells and prevent congenital disabilities.
The first soup was created as early as 10,000 years ago in China. In ancient times, people would use meat bones to make broth out of which they could eat. As time went on, people began adding vegetables and grains to their broth.
Today, soup is considered a staple food throughout the world.
There are many kinds of soups, including cream of wheat soup, chicken noodle soup, gumbo soup, beef consommé, mushroom soup, potato soup, tomato soup, clam chowder, and vegetable soup. There are different types of soups depending on what country you’re in.
Soup has been proven to help those who suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It helps prevent constipation, prevents stomach ulcers, reduces cholesterol levels, increases red blood cells, and boosts the immune system. It is great for digestion.
Green lentils originated in India and have been eaten there since ancient times. Lentils were first introduced to Europe by Arabs in the 8th century.
Today green lentils are grown in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States.
WHAT’S IN THIS VEGAN LENTILS SOUP
The green lentil soup requires only a few ingredients. The full recipe with the exact measurements is listed in the recipe card below.
Here’s a quick list of what you’ll need to make it perfectly every single time.
- Green Lentils: A cup of green lentils goes a long way in this hearty, warm, cozy soup.
- Vermicelli: You can use any pasta from thin spaghetti, fettuccini, rice noodles, egg noodles, etc.
- Tomato Paste: This will help to bring some color to the dish and will intensify the flavor and body of the soup.
- Liquids: You can use water or broth or a mix of both. For this recipe, I only used water.
- Red Pepper Flakes, Cilantro, Salt, and Pepper: The only two ingredients you need to flavor the soup are salt and pepper. The pepper flakes and cilantro are added as a finishing touch to the soup.
To ramp up on ingredients so that this green lentil soup is heartier, here are a few ingredients to consider.
- Kale: This is an easy way to add antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients, and colors in this soup.
- Earthy Herbs & Spices: Consider cooking the soup with oregano, fresh parsley, basil, thyme, and cumin.
- Lemon: Helps to brighten and balance out the bold flavors.
- Vegetables: Vegetables are basic ingredients for making any soup. In this case, green lentils are added to make a delicious, nutritious soup. Lentils are beans, and they have many uses. These legumes are high in protein and fiber. They are low-calorie and gluten-free. One cup of cooked lentils contains about 40 grams of carbs.
- Broth / Liquid: If you want a vegetarian option, substitute the chicken broth with water and cook the lentils with some vegetables instead of stock. You can add different veggies such as carrots, sweet potato, onions, celery, and roasted tomatoes to add a hint of smoky flavor, and garlic. You can even add mushrooms if you want.
- Garlic: Garlic adds flavor and complexity to dishes. It’s also rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Chop a head of garlic and place it in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Allow the cloves to cool before peeling off their papery skins. Once peeled, chop the cloves and mix them with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is an antioxidant spice that helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It also promotes digestion and relieves gas.
- Onions: Onions are a major ingredient in many recipes. They are used for flavoring and adding color. They also help build strong immune systems. Boil chopped onions in water until tender. Strain out the onion pieces and set them aside.
DON’T HAVE GREEN LENTILS
Red lentils are another option. They are small, round red seeds. They give off a mild flavor and are often used in Indian cuisine.
A half-cup serving provides 11 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. You can eat them plain or use them to create soups.
Green or brown lentils are the best choice for this soup as they have a mild, earthy flavor that slightly breaks apart when cooked without losing their shape.
If you don’t mind your lentils being broken down, then red lentils are your option as they break down fast and become mushy.
French lentils (also called Lentils de Puy) are great as a substitute but work best in salads.
The following ingredients allow you to add an interesting twist to your dish;
- Potatoes are important ingredients for this soup. However, instead of using sweet potatoes, you can use russet potatoes.
- Instead of using kale, you can also use other types of greens such as spinach, dill, or leek.
- You can add some interesting flavor to the soup by adding cubed butternut squash.
- You can also add some protein to the soup through some cubed chicken breast. However, you should wait till the onion turns golden brown before adding the chicken.
DO LENTILS NEED TO BE SOAKED BEFORE MAKING SOUP?
No. Lentils do not need to be soaked. Lentils cook fast, particularly red lentils as they will also disintegrate as they cook. Beans, however, are recommended to be soaked first before cooking.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PRE-SOAK LENTILS?
Nothing. As lentils are tiny peas, they do not need to be soaked prior to cooking Most lentils will cook in about 25 minutes or less.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST LENTIL SOUP RECIPE
Start by washing the Green Lentils with cold water at least two times.
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a Dutch Oven or large pot over high heat. Wash the green lentils at least two times and drain.
Add the washed green lentils, salt, and pepper to taste, as well as the tomato paste to the water; mix to combine. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, add the pasta and the remaining 2 cups of water, stir well, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Remove the soup from the heat and set aside.
In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and oil, then stir in the red pepper flakes and cilantro flakes.
Drizzle the herb pepper-infused oil over the soup in a bowl just before serving.
- Use Chicken Broth: Chicken broth is a great way to boost the nutrition in your soup. There are two types of chicken broths: bone broth and chicken base. Bone broth has a richer flavor and is full of collagen and gelatin. This makes it good for building muscle mass in general. Chicken base is less flavorful than bone broth but offers plenty of nutrition.
- Peppers: For a mild taste, use bell pepper. The pepper used should be sweet. This means that you can use either orange, red, or yellow bell peppers. Chili red pepper flakes or habanero peppers will add heat to the green lentil soup.
- Garlic: As much as garlic is an important ingredient in the soup, you can leave it out if you are allergic or don’t like garlic.
- Blending: You should avoid blending the green lentils as it will make the soup creamy.
- Acidic Flavor: Adding lemon juice to your green lentil soup before serving it will add some brightness to the soup.
Whether you’re serving this green lentil soup to your family or friends, it’s always a nice touch to make it fun by perking it up a bit.
- Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle on freshly chopped cilantro.
- Vegetables: Serve the soup with chopped vegetables.
- Peppers: Dress it with the infused oil and red pepper flakes
STORING AND REHEATING GREEN LENTIL SOUP
To Store: This soup will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days with the pasta included, or up to 5 days in a sealed storage container without the pasta added in.
To Freeze: Keep this soup in a freezer-safe container.
For Reheating: To reheat for a single serving, add the soup to a bowl and pop it in the microwave for a few minutes until it is warmed through.
To reheat for a family. We recommend that you add the entire back into a pot and reheat it on the stovetop.
MORE COZY FALL SOUPS & STEWS
Soups and stews are essential during the cold days, and sometimes during the warmer days too. And if you’re looking for a few more choices, here are a few soup recipes for you to enjoy or that can be modified to your liking.
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup
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Turkish Green Lentils Soup With Vermicelli
- Large Pot or Dutch Oven
- 1 Cup Green Lentils; washed and drain
- 1 ½ tsp. Tomato Paste
- 4 Oz. Pasta (Vermicelli); thin spaghetti, rice noodles, etc.
- 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 8 Cups Water; or broth
- Salt and Pepper To Taste
- 1 Tbsp. Dried Cilantro
- 1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- Start by washing the Green Lentils with cold water at least two times.Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a Dutch Oven or large pot over high heat. Wash the green lentils at least two times and drain.Add the washed green lentils, salt and pepper to taste, as well as the tomato paste to the water; mix to combine. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, add the pasta and the remaining 2 cups of water, stir well, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.After 10 minutes, taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Remove the soup from the heat and set aside.In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and oil, then stir in the red pepper flakes and cilantro flakes.Drizzle the herb pepper-infused oil over the soup in a bowl just before serving.
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