Turkish Lentil Soup with Roasted Eggplant and Yogurt

Turkish Lentil Soup with Roasted Eggplant and Yogurt

There are 195 countries in this world, give or take a few. I’ve only explored a small percentage of this number and yearn to visit many more before hanging my hat. Therefore, I don’t plan on much back-tracking. Turkey, however, remains an exception.

Certainly it was the exotica, the stunning landscape and fascinating history that captivated me. And then, of course, there was the food. The open air markets and streets seem to burst with the bright, sunny flavors and perfumes of vegetables, spices, pomegranate, good olive oil, yogurts and grilled kebobs. When I was in Turkey, I knew I was in a country that loved food.

I can conjure some of these flavorful memories with a only few ingredients, using lentils as the foil. Lentil soups are a cinch to make. Brown some onions, carrots or celery, add lentils and stock, perhaps a bay leaf, and you have a healthy soup in about 30-45 minutes. I used red lentils, but the soup is actually more yellowish than red. Red lentils, unlike black lentils, or lentils du Puy, collapse and lose structure quickly– your lentils stop looking like lentils quickly. Don’t fret, just keep stirring and adding more stock if the soup is too thick.

Savoring the flavors in this simple soup, I thumb through my Turkish cookbooks for future recipe inspirations from this whirling dervishes of a culture.

Recipe: Turkish Lentil Soup with Roasted Eggplant and Yogurt


    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 5-7 cups vegetable or chicken stock
    • 1 1/3 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
    • 1 Asian eggplant, diced*
    • 1/4 cup plain yogurt, strained, Greek-style preferred
    • Aleppo Pepper or red pepper flakes

*I enjoy these long, thin purplish eggplants. Their flesh is sweet and skin, tender. Feel free to substitute another eggplant variety, if desired.


  1. Preheat oven to 400˚.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium- sized heavy-bottom pot. Add onions and sauté until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add lentils to the pan, stir, then add 5 cups stock. Let come to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If soup becomes too thick, add additional stock to desired consistency.
  3. While soup is simmering, toss diced eggplant with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. On a foil-lined baking sheet, layer and roast eggplant 5-8 minutes or until tender.
  4. When soup is a homogenous, yellow purée, stir in yogurt and reheat. Season to taste with kosher salt and Aleppo pepper or pepper flakes.
  5. Garnish individual bowls with a dollop of yogurt, diced eggplant and serve.

Active Time: 10 minutes

Simmer Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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