This is a simple, hearty Turkish soup. It gets a pleasantly thick body from red lentils, which soften and break down during cooking. The Aleppo pepper is a wonderful addition, lending a gentle bite of warmth.


Recipe Summary

10 mins
20 mins
10 mins
40 mins
4 servings


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Turn on a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®) and select Saute function. Melt butter until foamy. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Push onion and garlic to one side of the pot and add olive oil. Toast paprika and cumin for 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste. Add lentils, rice, and salt. Pour in water and turn off Saute function.

  • Close and lock the lid. Select high pressure according to manufacturer's instructions; set timer for 3 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.

  • Release pressure using the natural-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, about 5 minutes. Release remaining pressure using the quick-release method, about 5 minutes. Unlock and remove the lid. Adjust seasoning to taste.

  • Meanwhile, heat extra-virgin olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the entire skillet. Add Aleppo pepper and cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with Aleppo pepper oil, sprinkle with fresh mint, and serve with lemon wedges.

Cook's Notes:

When I'm feeling lazy, I just sprinkle the Aleppo pepper directly into the soup--but do it gradually. It has more of a kick than you might expect.

If you can't find aleppo at a local Penzey's(R), you can order it online or substitute with an additional teaspoon of paprika and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

The soup can be made vegan by substituting olive oil for the butter.

Nutrition Facts

387 calories; protein 14g; carbohydrates 36.8g; fat 21.4g; cholesterol 22.9mg; sodium 210mg. Full Nutrition