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    Recipe for Turkish red lentil soup

    Turkish red lentil soup
    Dolphia Nandi for The Boston Globe
    Turkish red lentil soup

    Serves 4

    In Turkey red lentil soup is known as mercimek corbasi (pronounced merchimek chorbasi). Traditionally the recipe is cooked for a very long time, because there were no blender or food processors to puree them. Now cooking times have been reduced. The soup is traditionally served during Ramadan as the beginning of the nightly meal, with crisp bread and lemon. It is also common during the cold months. The recipe is from Fatma Yilmaz.

    1cup red lentils, rinsed
    1carrot, coarsely chopped
    1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
    7cups warm water
    1tablespoon olive oil
    ½onion, finely chopped
    2tablespoons tomato paste
    ½teaspoon paprika
    ½teaspoon dried mint, crushed with
    your fingers
    Salt and black pepper, to taste
    1tablespoon butter
    ¼teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1lemon, cut into wedges (for serving)

    1. In a soup pot, combine the lentils, carrot, potato, and 4 cups of the water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender.

    2. In a blender, puree the soup in batches. Transfer it to a bowl.

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    3. In the soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until it softens. Add the tomato paste, paprika, and mint. Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Add the lentil mixture, salt, black pepper, and remaining 3 cups warm water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes.

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    4. Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the butter. Add the cayenne pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

    5. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle some of the cayenne mixture into each one. Serve with lemon. Dolphia Nandi