Two Ways With Green Lentils

Buying things in cans is almost a sin in Turkey, I mean I could buy tinned legumes or tomatoes, but if anyone popped over unexpectedly and found my stash they’d surely report it back to my mother-in-law and I’d be banned from cooking for her son for life! This means that I need to be more well prepared so that I remember to soak dried legumes overnight.

The other night I wanted to soak green lentils before going to bed so they’d be ready for use for the following evening’s dinner, but then the following afternoon when I started thinking about what to make for dinner I remembered that I had forgotten to soak my lentils. But I didn’t give up. At about 4pm I soaked my lentils in hot water for about 2 hours and then boiled them for about half an hour and whaddayaknow, they were soft enough to be used for that night’s dinner. Then I realised that I’d prepared lentils but hadn’t made a decision of whether to cook a soup or a main meal. So I decided to choose both.

Green Lentil Soup (Yeşil Mercimek Çorbası)

1 cup of green lentils (soaked overnight or the cheats version, or if you’re not scared of your mother-in-law then you could use canned 😉 )
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 or 3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp or more of cumin
Red chilli flakes
Salt & pepper
Boiling water

In a soup pot add olive oil and onions and sautee for a couple of minutes, then add in the garlic and continue to sautee for a minute or two. Then add in the cumin and fry for half a minute before adding your lentils, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and mix around for a couple of minutes. Then add in about 4 cups of boiling water and bring to the boil for a minute before covering and simmering for about half an hour to 40 minutes. Check on the soup every 10 minutes or so and if needed add more water.

I then roughly blend the soup so that it’s creamy but still has some texture, but it’s up to you whether you like a chunky or a creamy soup or a mix of the two like me.

Serve with fresh lemon wedges, or better yet make a ‘soup dressing’ where you mix the soup dressing ingredients and drizzle over your soup.

For soup dressing:
½ lemon juiced
A dash of vinegar, apple cider or white
½ clove garlic, finely diced
A glug of olive oil
Salt & pepper

Green Lentil Food (Yeşil Mercimek Yemeği)

1 cup of green lentils (soaked overnight or the cheats version, or if you’re not scared of your mother-in-law then you could use canned)
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tbs tomato or red pepper paste
1 potato, diced
Red chilli flakes (optional)
½ tsp dried mint
Salt & pepper
Boiling water

In a pot add olive oil and onions and sautee for a couple of minutes, then add in the garlic and continue to sautee for a minute. Add in the tomato paste and fry for half a minute before adding your potatoes and lentils and mix around for a couple of minutes. Then add in chilli flakes, mint, salt and pepper and about 1½ cups of boiling water, or enough water so that the lentils and potatoes are just covered and bring to the boil for a minute before covering and simmering. Stir occasionally and add a little bit more water if necessary. Cooking time is about half an hour or until the potatoes are cooked through and the lentils are tender enough to eat.

Serve with a wedge of fresh lemon and some crusty bread.

Afiyet olsun.

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About theveganfoodophile

Well the title of my blog pretty much gives me away. I'm an Australian girl currently based in Turkey who loves food and animals, just not when the two are combined. This blog is about my vegan culinary adventures and attempts. I'm not claiming to be a good cook or to have super taste buds, I just simply enjoy food: eating it, looking at it, taking (average) photos of it, reading about it and now hopefully writing about it. Some people have hobbies, I have food.
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4 Responses to Two Ways With Green Lentils

  1. Lovely post Mrs Bektas. Mr Gordon and I had Turkish food last week and it made me think of you! Need to post that meal soon! Can you please do a post of Turkish tea + baklava?

    • Why thank you Mrs Gordon. 🙂 Looking forward to reading your post. I was only talking with Mr Bektas this evening about how I want to do a post on Turkish coffee, tea & desserts.

      • We just went back to the same Turkish restaurant for dinner! What is the name of the little dish that is kind of a tomato based salad with bits of crunchy vegetables in it and then it also has nuts in it? I’m really enjoying Turkish food of late! Kibbeh, tea, baklava, tabbouleh, it’s all good!

  2. It’s called acuka (muhammara in some countries) or acili ezmesi depending on which one you’re talking about, but I love both of them!! Kibbeh is known as icli kofte in Turkish. Tabbouleh is called kisir and has more bulgur in it than it’s lebanese counterpart. I’m going to do a post on kisir soon. Damn you need to come visit me, especially before you head to New York! Deal. Okay. Deal.

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