This was the first dish I was ever taught in Istanbul – by Hande Bözdogan, founder of the Istanbul Culinary Institute, no less. It’s delicious. She – like Yashim – cooks it like this.
onions2, finely chopped
garlic2cloves, finely chopped
potato1, peeled and grated
chicken or meat stock1.5litres/3pints
mint small bunch fresh, or 1tbsp dried
Melt the butter in a saucepan, and gently soften the onions to translucency. Stir in the garlic, potato and cumin, then add the lentils, salt, pepper and stock. Simmer for 25 minutes, covered, until the lentils are soft. You can run the soup through a blender or leave it as it is.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, turn the mint and hot pepper together in the oil, and sprinkle it over the soup.