We just had to share this recipe – it’s delicious! If you’re after a healthy and remarkably tasty supper, try this smoky chickpea, spinach and lentil soup. Serving around 6, it’s a hearty soup, perhaps more of a stoup, and fabulous served up with a wedge of fresh crusty Turkish bread.
Health benefits of chickpeas
Chickpeas, or Garbanzos as they are sometimes referred, are a staple in Turkish cuisine. Bought cheaply in either dried or canned form from most local markets and supermarkets, housewives in Turkey regularly cook up a chickpea dish for a family dinner. Chickpeas are well known for their health benefits. They are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre making them great for weight loss. Chickpeas leave you fuller for longer and they are also a wonderful source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Their manganese and iron content increases energy levels, and their low GI level makes them ideal for those with blood sugar issues.
Chickpeas have a unique nut-like taste. Although this recipe for smoky chickpea, spinach and lentil soup isn’t a traditional Turkish dish due to its use of smoked paprika, all the ingredients can be bought locally in Fethiye. It’s a fabulous dish adapted from a recipe by Jen Segal on her blog Once Upon A Chef. It’s simply tweaked a little to include the wonderful fresh spinach available now on Fethiye’s Tuesday market.
Smoky Chickpea, Spinach and Lentil Soup Recipe
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Large onion, diced
4 Garlic cloves, diced or minced
Big handful of fresh spinach, washed and chopped
1 large carrot, diced
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme + sprig of fresh if you can find it
1 bay leaf
1 small can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup (2 tablespoons) dry red lentils, rinsed
1 small can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups (950ml) chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil and fry off the onions and carrots in a large pan over a medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (around 5 minutes). Add the garlic, cumin, smoked paprika and thyme and stir for another minute or so. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the red lentils, the stock and canned tomatoes. Pop a bay leaf in, a thyme sprig if you have it and give it all a good stir. Reduce heat to a simmer and let it bubble away for around 20 minutes.
- Once the carrots are soft and lentils split, take out a couple of cups of the mix and puree it with a hand blender until smooth. Add this back into the soup.
- Once you have returned the liquid to the pot, add the drained chickpeas and chopped spinach. Heat for another 20 minutes or until the chickpeas are soft to your liking and warm through. Add seasoning and serve with bread, a side salad and squeeze of fresh lemon.
- Use the given amount of red lentils, other lentils tend to take far longer to cook. Adding more than the given amount will thicken the soup and give it a ‘fluffy’, less appealing texture.
- You can adapt this recipe easily and add your choice of vegetables – peas, greens or fresh beans were suggested in the original recipe so would also work well.
- You could puree the entire soup during step 3 for a smoother, thicker texture if preferred.
- If you can’t find smoked paprika (the key ingredient to give it the distinctive taste), look on the spice stalls on the open markets or ask at the spice shops found around Fethiye Fish/Veg Market.
We hope you enjoy our latest recipe, do let us know what you think in the comment section below. To see more Turkish recipes Click Here. To view Oceanwide Properties current Turkish property selection, please see our main website.