With the temperatures in Fethiye dropping below freezing last weekend, we thought we would warm you up with the perfect dish for those chilly evenings. See below our Turkish lentil soup recipe…
Health Benefits of Lentils
Lentils are a healthy low calorie legume and a staple in the Turkish diet. Brought cheaply from any supermarket, great dishes can be rustled up quickly resulting in some fabulous nutritious meals. Red lentils have many health benefits, here are just a few reasons you should be eating them;
- Great for lowering cholesterol. Known to contain a large amount of soluble fiber, lentils help to clean up your arteries and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Helps stabilise blood sugars in diabetics. Soluble fiber helps slow down digestion thereby helping to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Wonderful source of good protein. Lentils contain high levels of good protein so are a fabulous addition to any diet, especially vegetarian or vegan.
- Can help with weight loss. Lentils are high in vitamins, protein, minerals and nutrients and very low in fat. One cup of cooked lentils contains around 230 calories. If you are following a healthy eating program, lentils can help fight off hunger pangs and help with weight loss.
TURKISH LENTIL SOUP RECIPE (Mercimek Corbasi)
1 cup red lentils (rinsed)
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (diced)
1 carrot (diced)
2 cloves garlic (crushed and diced)
1 1/2 tablespoons salca (tomato paste)
1 teaspoon cumin
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and black pepper (to taste)
lemon wedges and mint for serving (optional)
Get yourself a large saucepan, add the olive oil and fry off the onion, garlic and carrot on a medium heat for a few minutes until they soften. Add the cumin, red pepper flakes, lentils and tomato paste and stir for another minute to combine. Add the vegetable or chicken broth, bring to the boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Leave uncovered for around 20 to 25 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the lentils have broken up and expanded.
Take off the heat and blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Dish up and add a squeeze of fresh lemon, a pinch of mint or a dollop of natural yogurt if you fancy. Serve with a big wedge of crusty bread or some crispy croutons.
Afiyet Olsun! (Bon Appetit!)
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