***French Month at Ottimo***

Turkish Bride Soup - Annabel Langbein

In Turkey this soup is traditionally fed to a bride the night before her wedding to sustain her through the day ahead. It delivers a deeply satisfying flavour but is quick and easy to make. Don’t skip the lemon and mint – they bring the dish alive.


  • 6 tbsp butter, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, or plain paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 12 cups (3 litres) vegetable stock, or water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried mint
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish
1 cup plain yoghurt
extra mint leaves
lemon wedges​


1. Heat the butter in a large, heavy-based pot and cook the onions over a gentle heat until very soft (about 10 minutes).

2. Stir in tomato paste, paprika and cayenne and cook for another minute.

3. Mix in lentils and bulgur or cracked wheat, then add stock or water.

4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring now and then.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the dried mint, fresh mint and lemon juice.

6. Adjust seasonings, including cayenne pepper, to taste, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes

7. Turkish Bride Soup can be made ahead to this point, kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated when needed.

8. When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer.

9. Divide between serving bowls, swirl in a little yoghurt and serve with lemon wedges and mint leaves.

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