Janet had me at "sizzling mint." This humble stew was enlivened by smoked paprika, lemon juice, and pan-fried mint leaves. Definitely a keeper. The only thing I'd change (unsurprisingly) is that I would add a serrano chili at the beginning for some of the other kind of sizzle!
Turkish Red Lentil Peasant Stew with Sizzling Mint
(from taste space)
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil, divided
1 serrano chili, finely diced (optional)
1 large onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked bittersweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika, divided
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed
6 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup fine bulgur
1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 bunch spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped (300g prepped)
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp dried mint
3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste (juice from 1 medium lemon)
1. In a large saucepot over low heat, heat 1 tsp of the oil. Once hot, add the onion, chili, and carrot. Sprinkle with salt and saute for 5 minutes until softened. If things start to stick, add in some water or broth. Add the garlic, cumin, bittersweet paprika, 1 tsp of the sweet paprika and saute for 5-8 minutes more, until the onions are translucent and soft.
2. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for one minute, until slightly browned. Add the lentils and broth, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in the bulgur and tomato and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach, in batches, allowing it to wilt. Cover and remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice.
3. Meanwhile, in a small frypan heat the remainder of the oil (2 tsp) over medium heat. Add the mint and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika. Remove from heat and drizzle overtop soup.
4. Serve soup with additional slices of lemon, if needed.