Sultan's Kitchen presented this soup to more than 1500 guests at the annual James Beard Awards Dinner in May 1995.
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted clarified butter
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced (3/4 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 medium tomato, peeled,
seeded and finely chopped (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon Turkish red pepper
or ground red pepper
1-1/2 cups red lentils
1/4 cup long-grain white rice
6 cups chicken stock or water
1/4 cup fine-grain bulgur
1 tablespoon dried mint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Plain bread croutons (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon paprika
In a heavy medium-size saucepan, heat the olive oil and the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently for about 2 minutes, or until they're softened but not brown. Stir in the tomato paste, chopped tomato, paprika, and Turkish pepper. Add the lentils, rice, and stock. Cover the saucepan and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked and the lentils have blended with the stock. Add the bulgur and mint, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the soup is too thick, add a little water.
To make the topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat., add the mint and paprika, and stir the mixture until it sizzles. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and drizzle the butter mixture over each serving. Top with the croutons, if you're using them. Serve at once with lemon wedges.
The Sultan's Kitchen
By Ozcan Ozan
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created October 1999
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