Lentil soup is fairly quick and easy to make using a few of the same staple ingredients you would find in a chicken noodle soup recipe. Most Turkish mothers would be disappointed to know I don't like to take their recommendation to add a potato. While the potato thickens the soup, I don't think it does much for it in terms of flavor or calories.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped (roughly 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 lb. red lentils, picked and rinsed til water runs clear
1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth (or 2 quarts water plus a chicken bouillon cube)
1 tbsp dried mint
1 tsp red pepper flakes and/or sumac
1/2 tsp freshly ground toasted cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
fresh lemon wedges
1. Pour olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.
2. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, and spices and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes.
4. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Alton Brown.