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Red Lentil Soup with Yogurt and Garlic

Red Lentil Soup with Yogurt and Garlic

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Prior to visiting Turkey, I had never tried red lentils. But in Istanbul you can’t go to a restaurant that features local dishes without running into red lentil soup.

As I’ve found out, the red lentils can be more convenient to work with than some other dried legumes because there is no need to soak them in advance and they are tender after about 20 minutes of cooking.

The typical version of the soup is relatively simple, with a few typical Turkish spices, perhaps a bit of bulgur wheat added, and is served with a large wedge of lemon.

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Red Lentil Soup Recipe

For my version, I’ve added a few more vegetables and paired the soup with a few other Turkish favorites – yogurt and garlic.

The soup by itself is very good, but the yogurt sauce brings it to a whole new level.

And best yet, from start to finish you are ready to eat in under an hour.

Here are some additional Turkish recipes you might enjoy:

First, start by making the yogurt sauce:

Garlic and Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Yogurt Sauce with Lemon, Garlic, Sumac and Mint


  • 1 - 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • Sumac and Dried Mint


  1. Add yogurt, salt and lemon juice to a small bowl.
  2. Mince 1 clove of garlic (if you like garlic) 1 1/2 - 2 cloves (if you REALLY like garlic).
  3. Use the side of a sharp knife to crush the garlic and add it to the yogurt mixture.
  4. Garnish with spices and put aside, covered, in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

2 tablespoons

Amount Per Serving Calories 21Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 2mgSodium 162mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 2g
Directions for making the Vegetable Lentil Soup:

Yield: 6 Servings

Red Lentil Vegetable Soup

Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Red Lentil Soup with Potatoes, Onions and Carrots topped with a Garlic and Lemon Yogurt Sauce


  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 Medium Carrot, Diced
  • 1 Medium Potato, Peeled and Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Paste (use Tomato Paste as a substitute if necessary)
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
  • 1 Cup Red Lentils (dry)
  • 5 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • Parsley ( or Cilantro) and Lemon Wedges and Red Pepper Flakes (as a garnish)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until they just begin to soften.
  2. Add the garlic and carrots and continue to cook for about 3 minutes. Add the cumin, red pepper flakes and stir for one minute.
  3. Add the potato, red pepper paste and tomato paste to the pot and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth and lentils. Bring the soup to a boil, and then cover and reduce to simmer.
  5. Add enough water to cover the vegetables as the soup continues to simmer. You can also add additional water if you would like a thinner soup.
  6. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils and potatoes are soft.
  7. Garnish with parsley (or cilantro), and serve with the yogurt sauce, lemon wedges and red hot pepper flakes on the side.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 159Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 151mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 5gSugar 3gProtein 9g

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Norma Lockett

Tuesday 26th of November 2019

Really like lentil soup will try this one.

Ramona @ Ramona's Cuisine

Thursday 19th of May 2016

I really love garlic... My husband kind of doesn't, but eats all foods I prepare with garlic.

I also prefer mixing cilantro in what I prepare, although some close friends complained it tasted a bit like soap :D


Friday 20th of May 2016

I used to have the same reaction to cilantro - it made things taste like either soap or tin foil. I've read that it is a sensitivity or allergy. After I moved to California and started eating it more I lost the sensitivity and now its one of my favorite herbs.


Thursday 8th of October 2015

I adore lentils in pretty much any format and although I've made soup with them many times, I've not had it with the addition of yoghurt sauce - sounds wonderful.


Monday 12th of October 2015

The yogurt sauce really makes the soup!

Jane M

Sunday 4th of October 2015

We have a vegan version of this soup that we make all the time. It's one of my favourite meals, though I'm pretty sure I never ate it when we were actually in Turkey.

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