Turkish Tomato, Bulgur, and Red Pepper Soup

  • Servings : 6-8
  • Prep Time : 60m
  • Cook Time : 40m
  • Ready In : 1:30 h

Simple, light, and satisfying, this Turkish soup (adapted from a Boston chef Ana Sortun’s recipe in Come In, We’re Closed, a really neat collection of staff meal recipes from cool restaurants), seems like it was designed for cold, post-holiday evenings, when you’ve had your fill of heavy braises and serious eating, but also want something warming and filling. The red peppers add depth, the tomatoes a touch of acid brightness, and the mint a floral kick. If you have gochugaru – Korean crushed red pepper – on hand, it’s really good sprinkled over the top of the soup right before serving. But since gochugaru’s a pretty seriously niche ingredient (Most non-Korean Asian markets don’t even carry it, though it’s totally worth tracking down.), a little paprika works just about as well, or even a dash of sriracha if you want to add some heat.


  • 1 cup dry bulgur wheat
  • 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock, or water
  • chopped mint and paprika (or gochugaru, if you have it, or sriracha), to garnish


Step 1

Put the bulgur in a bowl and cover with hot water. (Around a quart of water should do it.) Let soak for one hour, then drain well and set aside.

Step 2

While the bulgur is soaking, dump the jar of peppers in a blender and puree until smooth. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add the onions and fresh red pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add the mint, tomatoes, pureed roasted peppers, and stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 3

Add the drained bulgur and stir combine. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the bulgur has swollen and thickened the soup. Season with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and garnish with the mint and a sprinkling of paprika.

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