Bulgarian Lentil Soup

This is as simple a little lentil soup as one could make; but very tasty nonetheless. Summer savory and paprika are typical seasonings in Bulgarian cuisine. When I first discovered this, I exclaimed "I'm a Bulgarian cook and didn't even know it!" 
 
Well, not quite. But I have gotten more interested in Bulgarian cuisine this winter, as you may have noticed. This is not quite the original Bulgarian soup as I found it, but close enough. The original did not have the vinegar added as it cooked, but vinegar was mixed with garlic and salt and swirled though the finished soup. I prefer to add it to the soup in good time to allow it to mingle and mellow, and to use a more Turkish finish of garlic yogurt. Since the Bulgarians also use garlic and yogurt in quantity, I'm sure I am not the first to do so. If you don't want it you don't have to; but we thought it a very good addition.   

I'm saying 15 minutes prep time, but you can't wander away for the hour of cooking - it does want stirring every so often.
 
2 to 4 servings
1 hour 15 minutes - 15 minutes prep time
 
 Bulgarian Lentil Soup
 
Mix the Seasonings:
2 teaspoons summer savory
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
 
In a small bowl; set them aside.
 
Make the Soup:
1 large onion
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1 medium carrot
2 tablespoons sunflower OR olive oil
1 cup green or brown lentils
6 to 7 cups of water
3 to 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar OR white wine vinegar 
 
Peel and chop the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and dice the carrot finely. 

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Cook the onion and carrot gently over medium heat, for 5 to 10 minutes,  until softened and very lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, give it another minute, then add the lentils and 4 cups water. 

Simmer gently for about 45 minutes, stirring regularly, until the lentils are tender. Add more water as it cooks down to keep a thick but soupy consistency. When the lentils seem to be done, add the seasonings and the vinegar. Simmer for a further 15 minutes or so, again stirring regularly and maintaining the consistency. 

Serve plain, or with a dollop of Garlic-Yogurt. 

Garlic Yogurt:
3/4 cup yogurt
1 clove of garlic
a pinch of salt 

When you mix the seasonings, line a strainer with a coffee filter and put in the yogurt. Strain while the soup cooks, then mix with the garlic, peeled and mashed with the salt.





Lasts year at this time I made Buckwheat & Flax Meal Tortilla Wraps.

Bulgarian Lentil Soup