Sunday, April 23, 2017

Turkish (Red Lentil) "Bride" Soup with Fried Egg for Food 'n Flix April: "A Touch of Spice" and Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays {#foodnflix}

It's Food 'n Flix time again, where an amazing group of bloggers watch a movie (foodie or not) and head to the kitchen to create a dish inspired by it. This month our movie is the Greek film. A Touch of Spice (it's titled "Politiki Kouzina" which means 'Cuisine of the City' in Greek), hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. (See her announcement post here.)

I almost had to sit this round out as the movie is a bit obscure and the only way I could seem to get a copy with English subtitles in time to participate was to order the DVD from Amazon and between the price and the extra to get it delivered to Hawaii in time for the due date, it was about $32--which was a bit too expensive for my budget. But, back to those amazing bloggers that I mentioned at the beginning of the post, when one of them saw my comment about not participating on Food 'n Flix's Facebook page, she sent me a message offering to send me her copy. How sweet is that?! Sarah of Chef Sarah Elizabeth is my hero and I had the movie in a few days and watched it this weekend--so I am actually several days early for this round. (Almost unheard of!) Food bloggers are the best kind of people! 

From the Amazon editorial review: "A Touch of Spice is is a story about a young Greek boy (Fanis) growing up in Istanbul, whose grandfather, a culinary philosopher and mentor,teaches him that both food and life require a little salt to give them flavor; they both require... A Touch of Spice. Fanis grows up to become an excellent cook and uses his cooking skills to spice up the lives of those around him. 35 years later he leaves Athens and travels back to his birthplace of Istanbul to reunite with his grandfather and his first love; he travels back only to realize that he forgot to put a little bit of spice in his own life." 

The movie is beautifully filmed--especially the scenes of the city and the spices and food. If you love Greek food at all, it will make you hungry. I found parts of the story a bit hard to follow at times but part of that is my attention span when watching subtitled movies I am sure. All in all it was a wonderful foodie film to watch (again thank you to Sarah!) so if you can get your hands on it (I am happy to pay it forward and mail it out to anyone interested), it is well worth watching.

Food in the movie seen or mentioned included: sugar, eggplants, artichokes and oranges at a market, a table of appetizers and drinks, ouzo, spices--cumin, cinnamon--mentioned as an ingredient in meatballs with mince, breadcrumbs, garlic and onion, pepper, stuffed grape leaves, oregano, nutmeg and chilies, oysters and walnuts, a pressure cooker and sauteed mussels, vegetables and a salad, yellowtail tuna, beans, stuffed eggplant and grilled fish, stuffed red and green peppers, roast chicken, fried and boiled eggs, hunikar beef, cinnamon rolls, milk and sugar for a cake and a table of desserts.

Although I didn't see soup featured in the movie, it was what I wanted to make as it can be both an appetizer or a main course. Or in the case of Turkey, sometimes a breakfast dish. When Fanis's uncle tells him he is going to marry Lela and "The only thing Lela knows how to cook is fried eggs"--I knew I wanted to serve my soup with a fried egg on top. I also wanted to include some of the spices mentioned in the movie like pepper, cumin, and cinnamon. 

When I googled Turkish Soups, Turkish Bride Soup kept coming up and  I found this passage on it from

"Known as the soup of Ezo the bride, this flavor has a rather sad love story attached to its humble roots. The story says that Ezo was an incredibly beautiful woman who lived in the southeastern Gaziantep region in the early 20th century. Despite her goddess looks, love was never easy for her and her first marriage failed after her husband had an affair and her second marriage took her across the border to live in Syria. Homesick for many years, she died in the 1950s after bearing nine children, but her story and recipe at this point had become a legend and the soup is a soothing comfort for brides and their uncertainty for their future. Traditionally made from lentils, what sets this soup apart is the addition of bulgar and cayenne pepper and paprika as ingredients rather than garnishes."

This passage made me think of the scenes where the family's brides are taught to cook (with disastrous results) from the 'secret' and stinky ingredient; "kissa mamout." Although I looked to the online recipes for inspiration, my soup is not traditional with the additions of carrot, (mainly for color), the extra spices, swapping in Harissa paste for the tomato paste and cayenne, and putting an egg on top but I think it only adds to the simple and delicious soup so indulge me! 

Turkish Bride Soup
Adapted and added to by Deb with inspiration from this recipe,and this one
(Serves 6 to 8)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large sweet onions, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
3 Tbsp Harissa Paste (or tomato paste)
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a large pinch of cayenne pepper (if not using harissa
2 cups red lentils, sorted, rinsed and drained
1 cup bulgur wheat
12 cups of vegetable stock or water (I used a mix of non-chicken broth and water)
2 Tbsp dried mint
2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
juice of one lemon, or to taste
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fried eggs to garnish if desired

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot and cook onion and carrot over low heat until onions are very soft (about 10 minutes). Stir in the harissa paste, paprika, cumin, and cinnamon and cook for another minute or two. Add the red lentils, bulgur and broth/water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the dried mint, fresh mint and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired with salt and black pepper. Cover pot and allow flavors to meld for 10 minutes.

Serve in warm bowls, topped with a fried egg if desired. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: This is a simple but quite satisfying and tasty soup. The spices, along with a little fire from the Harissa paste and the freshness of the lemon and mint give good flavor and the body is thick from the red lentils and bulgur. The egg isn't necessary or in the traditional recipe but as eggs do, it adds a lot to the experience when you break all that yolky goodness and stir it into the soup. You could also top it with some Greek yogurt as some of the online recipes I found suggested.You don't have to be a bride to enjoy this soup. I would happily make it again.

The deadline for this round of Food 'n Flix is Thursday, April 27th and Camilla will be rounding up the entries on her blog shortly after. If you can't join us this round and you like food, movies and foodie movies, join us for May when I will be hosting (the not-so-foodie-but-one-of-my-favorite films) The Princess Bride here at Kahakai Kitchen. I know I can count on my Food 'n Flix friends for some wonderful dishes and good fun! It would be inconceivable if you didn't join us!  

We are all about sandwiches this week in Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Vicki of I'd Rather Be At The Beach shared a Hawaiian Grilled Cheese Sandwich and said, "This sandwich was so good! I’ve never added oregano and parsley to the bread when making grilled cheese, and I loved the flavor it added. Quick and simple, and very yummy, I’ll be making this again!"

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor enjoyed a Turkey Wrap and said, "So on Saturday, instead of a cheeseburger, I selected a turkey wrap stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, sweet peppers and light Italian dressing. It's never a hardship for me to eat a wrap, I love 'em. As you can see this one was packed. By the end of the second half I was just picking out the veggies and eating them as I was getting too full to continue eating the tortilla. Whew.....glad I didn't order the corn nuggets as I had originally planned."

Here at Kahakai Kitchen, I used some pickled turmeric eggs and made some lovely tea party-worthy Curried Egg Salad Bites on Naan Bread for Blog Party #44--Tea Party, a virtual event my friend Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness was having. They were delicious and I will be making more of the turmeric pickled eggs from Heidi Swanson's recipe just to have the egg salad again.

Mahalo to Vicki and Tina for joining in this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Thanks for joining me, Deb! I'm so glad you received a copy from another blogger. I didn't realize it was going to be so hard to find for some folks.

  2. I love that Sarah sent you her copy so that you could participate, that warms my heart...and this soup would most definitely warm my soul, it sounds so hearty and satisfying. And yes, that fried egg is the perfect way to top it off!

  3. Luckily we don't have to be brides to try some. It sounds like very comforting, substantial and flavorful meal of a soup.

  4. I wasn't able to participate....what a crazy month! I like the idea of this soup and I have red lentils in the pantry. Great review!

  5. I am so glad you were able to join in the fun this month, otherwise we would have missed out on this great recipe.

  6. I enjoy lentil soup,and this looks like a delicious version. And I can never resist a fried egg on top of almost anything (hah!). I hunted for what on earth the kissa mamout might be, but got nothing except references to the movie. Given what it did to those who ate it, this spice is probably best left undiscovered. ;)

  7. So lad you got to participate and what a great soup, and you really had me at the fried egg. yep would be great with my simit rings!

  8. I was so sorry to miss this round. Had some issues finding the film too. Gave an FnF shout-out today,nonetheless. Love this soup and can totally envision it with that harissa addition!!!!! (Can't wait for next month's FnF btw!!!!! I won't miss that one!)


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